Life at IRT Peakhurst just peachy
- IRT Peakhurst retirement village marks 25 years
- Judith Thompson, one of the first residents, has spent almost a third of her life there
- Established as the result of collaboration between IRT and Housing NSW
- Residents have collated a History of the Early Settlers in the Peakhurst Area
Judith Thompson has lived in the IRT Peakhurst retirement village for 25 years and she’s loved every moment of it.
Judith Thompson has spent almost a third of her life living in IRT Peakhurst’s Lifestyle Community and she’s loved every moment of it.
“It’s such a happy place. I’ve been here 25 years and I treasure the love, and care and the friendship we have here,” she says.
Widowed at a young age, Judith moved in to the newly built retirement village in southern Sydney when she was 60.
“I couldn’t have managed the house on my own. And I would have been extremely lonely. But from the moment I stepped into this place I’ve had friendships all the time,” she explains. “I love the companionship, knowing I’m very safe, the staff – I love all the staff, they’re the friendliest lot – and the fun and laughter.”
IRT Peakhurst celebrated its 25th anniversary in September 2017 and Judith was among the 100 residents and guests who gathered to celebrate the occasion.
Federal Member for Banks David Coleman also joined the festivities. IRT Communities CEO Stig Andersen says the history of IRT Peakhurst as a Lifestyle and Care Community dates back to the early 1990s when IRT and Housing NSW collaborated on a plan to provide more affordable housing and care for older people.
“This collaboration continues to this day. IRT Peakhurst is a diverse and inclusive Community,” he says.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary, residents, including Judith, collated a History of the Early Settlers in the Peakhurst Area.
It explains why names such as Hannon, Peake and Jamieson feature so prominently throughout IRT Peakhurst.
“We always wondered who these people were so we got very busy and, with the help of Hurstville Library, researched their connections to Peakhurst,” Judith explains.
Over the years, Judith’s been involved in lots of Community activities, including fundraising to fit out a new community hall, which opened in 2001 and is now the hub of the Community.
She also helped establish Fretus Memorial Park, in memory of residents who’ve passed away.
“A group of us are keen gardeners and we’ve got a gorgeous rose garden in the park. We hold an annual memorial service in the park for anyone who has passed away in the year.
“It’s a lovely and treasured service, because we class ourselves as a village family and when one person dies it affects the whole family.”
In her busy schedule, which includes a regular singing group, Judith admits the hardest thing is finding spare time.
“I looked at this month’s program and thought ‘oh, when am I going to get time to myself’,” she laughs.