Strangers to friends

Downsizing and moving out of the family home is a major decision and one that might be filled with trepidation, especially if you’re moving to a new area. But for three couples, the relocation to Amana Living Treendale has been a move of no regrets and has resulted in a beautiful friendship.

Robert and Terrie Dawson from Kingsley, John and Angela Hansen from Greenwood, and Phil and Leonie McKeon from Australind moved into Stage 3 of Amana Living Treendale earlier this year. They’ve gone from strangers to firm friends in just six months.

John and Angela were first to move in, followed a few days later by Robert and Terrie who were invited into the dining room by residents who were having a St Patrick’s Day dinner when they arrived to pick up their key.

“We met Terrie and Rob when we first moved in and discovered they lived just five minutes away from us in Perth,” said Angela. “We were literally separated by Hepburn Avenue but didn’t know each other. However, we were having drinks together within a week of meeting each other here in Treendale.”

Phil and Leonie followed in April and, according to Angela, the three men have formed a strong bond.  “The men get together quite a lot. They stop the car in the middle of the road so they can talk, they often have beers together, and Phil takes Rob and John out in the boat. We had lovely neighbours in Perth but we’ve won the lotto here!”

Leonie adds, “The three guys have been out fishing, plus Phil’s taken Robert to bowls. They’re going crabbing in the near future, so us girls will go into Bunbury for lunch.”

“Everyone is nice,” says Terrie. “When we’re all out in the street, all the neighbours talk to one another. There’s a real sense of community and everyone looks out for you.”

Leonie agrees. “When we first moved in, I had boxes everywhere but a lot of the ladies came and said hello. They were so lovely and friendly, and made me feel right at home.”

For Leonie, country hospitality has played an important part in creating a sense of community. “Phil often comes home after bowls with a big bag of vegies and he’ll drop some off to Rob and Terrie, and John and Angela if we have too much. Coming from the country, this isn’t unusual to us but I’m sure it was to the others at the beginning!”

All three couples enjoy the social life at Amana Living Treendale but also the freedom to do their own thing.

“We go to the functions at the Club House, like Winter in July and Anzac Day, plus there are monthly dinners where everyone brings a dish,” says Terrie. “I do craft on a Wednesday afternoon. You can go swimming or do aerobics. The choice is yours and you don’t have to do everything, which is what I like.”