Maureen Shepherd, a resident of Beauty Point Retirement Resort for the past seven years and a champion rifle shooter, was a baton bearer for the Commonwealth Games opening earlier this year.
When asked what it felt like to run with the Commonwealth Games baton, Maureen says: “It was great. I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Some people from the resort came to watch and all my family came which was fantastic.”
“It was quite an honour,” Maureen adds. “You have to go through a long selection process as well as security process, so I was very lucky to do it.”
Shooting as a sport runs in the family
Maureen says she’s always loved rifle shooting as her father was a champion shooter: “I grew up more or less on a rifle range,” she laughs. “My daughter’s in the Brisbane team now and my grandson started the day he turned 12 so it definitely runs in the family!”
Maureen joined the NSW Ladies State Rifle Team which was established in 1967. “We shoot 7.62 rifles. Women weren’t allowed to be full members at first but now we are.”
Even though she’s now older in years, Maureen says she still shoots for the women’s team if they’re short: “I still compete on Saturdays. I’m often the reserve.”
She’s also been working as the coach for the Brisbane Women’s team as their State Championships are coming up soon. Previously, she coached a NSW team against a Scottish team, and she adds: “The NSW team won!”
It’s a lifelong passion
Maureen admits she’s given up a lot of other things so she could achieve excellence in her passion for shooting. “It’s been my work and my passion all at the same time. I’ve travelled all over Australia with it,” she adds.
She emphasises there are very strict regulations concerning the sport to keep it safe for everyone concerned: “…it’s one of the best sports you can be involved in – and it’s one of the safest!”
“I’ve met the best people from all walks of life. It’s just a great sport,” she says.
At the recent inter-village Shuffleboard Tournament, held at Beauty Point Retirement Resort, the Beauty Point Boomers were the overall winners!
It was a tightly-contested Tournament and while the Frank Vickery Victors from Frank Vickery Village and the Mary Andrews Village team played extremely well, in the end it was the Beauty Point Boomers who won the Tournament.
As the Boomers’ captain, Alessandra Copeta, said: “We were very happy about it. There were quite a few people watching – people from Beauty Point and some people from the other villages – so we all had fun.”
“Of course, we love the game, so that makes it even easier,” she added. “We play twice a week here at the resort so we keep up-to-speed.”
The last puck can win so it stays exciting
The Shuffleboard Inter-Village Tournament started years ago when Steve Mortimer, who used to play rugby for the Bulldogs, thought it would be a good idea to set up a tournament within the retirement village community.
“My main focus is to hold the tournament at lifestyle villages. It’s just a great game and the good thing about it is, even if you’re a good player, you’re not going to win all the time,” he said. “It keeps it exciting because theoretically, the last puck can still win the game and that keeps it exciting.”
Steve added: “It’s perfect for retirement villages because you can play from a Zimmer frame or even a wheel chair. It doesn’t matter because it’s the skill you have that wins the game.”
The Beauty Point Players are a group of residents from Beauty Point Retirement Resort who love theatre and performing. So far, they’ve presented two shows for their fellow residents – both of which has been well-attended and great nights for everyone concerned.
As their director, Barry McMaster recounts, originally the group was formed to watch theatre and movies and discuss them in a group forum. But as time went on, Barry says the group wanted to be more active and to “… focus on performing.”
“The first meeting we had was on 11th February last year,” says Barry, “and we decided as a group we had two functions to achieve and they were: number one – to develop and perform entertaining shows for the enjoyment of our fellow residents; and number two – to develop our knowledge of drama through organising theatre and movie attendances and discussing our experiences and perceptions.”
Theatre visits and movie mornings
In line with this, last year The Beauty Point Players organised groups of people, including other Beauty Point residents, to attend performances by The Guild Theatre in Rockdale – an amateur dramatic group which was established in the ‘50s.
As well as these outings, The Beauty Point Players have held movie mornings at Beauty Point’s intimate theatre. As Barry says: “I’ve introduced movies here in the theatre. We’ve been to three plays and then later, we’ve watched the film version of each of them.”
“This year, I’m intending to show a lot more films which I consider showcase some really good acting and afterwards, we can talk about them and discuss why it is or isn’t good acting,” he adds.
Two major shows
Last year, The Beauty Point Players presented two shows for their fellow residents at the resort, right near the piano in the restaurant and bar area. The first was held on the 23rd June and it included several short, very funny sketches. It was a big hit and everyone enjoyed themselves – cast and audience together!
The next show was on the 17th November and again, they presented several short, funny plays and sketches. Barry says the shows are always a great night because as well as many of the Resort’s residents, a lot of family members also come along to see the performances.
“We have quite a few supporters outside of The Players’ group. “People need to book for our shows because we fill the house. These days, I’m trying not to perform as much so I can direct and that will be more possible now – as we have 13 people in the group at the moment,” he explains.
Barry says the people in the group have improved their acting skills by learning as they go during the rehearsals. “I’ve watched people develop and get better at acting and it’s great to see,” he says.
It’s a social club as well!
Barry says a big part of what The Beauty Point Players do is to enjoy themselves and have a really good time. “When we rehearse on a Sunday afternoon we have nibbles and wine afterwards,” he laughs. “So it’s become more than just a drama group – it’s a social club as well!”
But anyone can join in the fun he says – even if you don’t actually want to be part of the shows. Barry says all Beauty Point’s residents are invited to be part of the theatre or movie trips which are organised throughout the year.
When asked how he came to be involved in acting and all things thespian, Barry explains he has been a member of an acting troupe called Radioactive Live for the last five years.
“My wife and I had been living in the Castle Hill area for many years but when we looked for a place to move for our retirement, we saw Beauty Point Resort and it became our benchmark – nothing else came up to it,” he says.
“So we moved here and we’ve loved it. Because I’m a member of Radioactive Live, I thought it would be great if we had some sort of group here where people could express themselves,” he adds.
A place for people to express themselves
Barry says the way The Beauty Point Players’ shows are run is a little different from the usual: “We read from the script – we don’t learn our lines,” he says. “We get a bank of microphones and we use sound effects. My wife, Viesia, is on sound. We do a couple of songs – we’re not great singers but we sing these songs with gusto,” he laughs.
“We use signs for our melodramas and we try to do plays that have some degree of relevance to the residents. We did one called Blue Suede Blues which was a hit,” he adds.
This year The Beauty Point Players plan to do two shows again but the first show will probably be a little later in the year, around July, as Barry and his wife are going away in the early part of the year. The second show will be planned for close to Christmas and Barry says these dates will all be discussed with the members of the group.
To enjoy a video about the Beauty Point Players click here.
Long-time Beauty Point resident, Joan Stuart, named as patron
The Beauty Point Players have named Joan Stuart, a long-time resident of Beauty Point Resort, as their patron. “She was doing this here before and she’s our inspiration,” explains Barry. “She’s in her 90’s now and she’s a delightful lady with so many amazing stories to tell.”
The Beauty Point Players are: Jan Walliss, Lindsay Collins, John Barker, Dorothy Barker, Lyn Brewer, Robert Cridland, Joe Cockle, Margaret (Meg) Marsh, Maureen Shepherd, Pam Pitkeathly, Wendy Wilson, Lillian Coyle and Barry McMaster (also director).
They also have Viesia McMaster on Sound and Joan Stuart as their Patron. The Players would like to thank the Beauty Point Management for their commitment and support, particularly Lisa, George and Alexis. Thanks also to Craig Winstanley for the installation of the sound system.
Beauty Point Retirement Resort is now an accredited Home Care provider so residents of the resort and local people in the area can now access a range of Home Care services. There are many benefits to this including:
1) Because your Home Care provider is located right where you live, there’s less travel time for the Home Care staff so you’ll get more for your money. 2) By accessing the Home Care services you need, you’ll be able to retain your independence and stay living in the comfort of your own unit at Beauty Point Retirement Resort for longer. 3) The Home Care provider is called Beauty Point Homecare Your Way and it will be run from the resort, supplying its own registered nurse. 4) You can talk to the staff at Beauty Point Homecare Your Way about exactly what your needs are and they’ll help you work out what Home Care services are the best for you and how to register for them.
Beauty Point Retirement Resort’s Manager, Lisa Papahristos recently announced the news that the resort is now an approved Home Care provider. She said it means a lot to the resort’s residents because now any resident can access Home Care services much more conveniently. An added bonus for people in the local area is that these Home Care services are also available to them.
As Lisa said: “It’s great because if you qualify for Home Care, you can now organise it all through Beauty Point Home Care Your Way. Of course, one of the biggest advantages if you’re a resident of Beauty Point Retirement Resort is you can now access these Home Care services directly from us and there’ll be less travel time so you’ll end up with a better deal.”
Talk to us about your Home Care package – you’ll be pleasantly surprised! There’ve been some major changes in Home Care over the past few years and one of them was the introduction of Consumer Directed Care (CDC) which started in 2015. As Lisa said: “Before CDC came in, retirees didn’t really have the choice about who delivered their Home Care so they took the provider they were allocated and were just happy for the help.
“But this is not the case anymore. We’re moving into the next century. What it’s about now is – you have choices,” she added.
More services available than you realise
Lisa said many people don’t realise there’s a lot more care available under Home Care, adding: “There are many more options that you may not know about and so all you need to do is come and talk to us about what you need and we’ll see how we can fit that in with the Home Care services available.”
“We’re happy to talk it all through with people and explain how the system works to them,” said Lisa. “While the resort now offers Home Care services, no-one has to use these services unless they want to. But we’re offering a competitive price. So come and talk to us and we’ll see what you qualify for, according to your government assessment.”
Next step forward for Beauty Point Retirement Resort
Lisa said this is a big move forward and it means a great deal for the future of the resort: “We’re now approved providers of government care. That’s not a little thing – it’s a big thing. Being a Home Care provider, we can provide you with any of the care you need to make your life far more comfortable.”
To find out more about how you can register for Home Care services or access some new and different services, call Shani or Mary at the front desk of the Beauty Point Retirement Resort on (02) 8708 4700 and ask to speak to someone about Home Care.