Ryman Community News

William Sanders

Doug’s digging the gardener’s life

Written by Maryvonne Gray
on September 25, 2020

Village gardener Doug Kerr is thrilled to have a job working with plants again after a Covid-related restructure saw him made redundant from his hardware store role.
“I used to have my own landscaping business and the only reason I gave it up was because I blew out two hips and had to get them replaced,” says Doug in his typically frank and humorous fashion.
“I came out the other side of it feeling like the $6 million man, I can even get back into my marathons now.
“So it’s nice doing the gardening work again. It’s not a job, it’s like a passion. You get satisfaction from it especially when you can stand back and see something grow and take shape – it’s most enjoyable.”

Doug says he loves interacting with the residents who have all been tickled by how aptly named he is.
“Every one of them has commented on that, probably because when Murray told them that he had to give me the job when I introduced myself as Doug!” he laughs.
“It’s a great place to come each day with a great team. And we have a few laughs with the residents. That’s what I like, there’s a lot of fun and frivolity and no one takes things too seriously.”
One thing he is serious about, however, is making sure the gardens look ‘a million dollars’, pledging to do just that at the village meeting.
“My goal is that the residents feel as proud as if it was their garden at home, and this is their home.”
While he was putting in the hours to get the grounds looking good, the return to Alert Level 3 meant the weeding went on hold for a bit.
“I’ll work on the gate, deliver happy hour goodies in a bag, pick up prescriptions, whatever needs to be done to keep everyone safe and happy.”

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 36 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman villages are home to 11,600 residents, and the company employs more than 6,000 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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