Elaine Bartley is prompting fellow Edmund Hillary residents to get on the phone while in self-isolation.
Last year Elaine started a CAMEO group in the village. The acronym stands for Come And Meet Each Other and was an idea she got from church to help new members meet one another.
She thought the same principle could be applied at Edmund Hillary for any resident who was keen to meet others especially if they weren’t affiliated with any particular interest.
While the group had been very successful, with around 30-50 people coming along each month, the ability to meet up had been curtailed following the new government-instilled lockdown.
Elaine said it was now time for the residents to get out their village telephone lists and make the most of the technology at their fingertips.
“We probably will not be able to meet together for some time – but that need not stop us from talking to one another and being friends!
“How fortunate we all are to be connected by telephone. So for the foreseeable time we must change our meeting from Come and Meet Each Other to Come and Ring Each Other – CAREO, or Carry On.”
She likened it to the popular saying during the war: “People used to say to each other ‘carry on’ during the war to help each other do just that.”
Elaine said the beauty of CAREO was it didn’t have to be once a month like the CAMEO meetings but every day so people didn’t feel alone or closed in.
“If you don’t get any phone calls you could get very depressed.
“And there are new residents arriving who need to feel a part of our community and we all like a friendly phone call."
The former Mt Eden Borough Councillor and JP said she was very glad to be at Edmund Hillary where the staff were doing a great job of looking after her, she said.
“I’m so pleased I’m here, I’m very content here.
“At my front door earlier was a little bottle of wine and a packet of chips and later I’m having my dinner delivered to the door.
“I’m 91 and a half and while I do still cook for myself it’s nice to have a couple of nights off a week,” she added.
Elaine said four members of her family worked in the medical profession and were therefore on the ‘frontline in this war’.
By encouraging her fellow residents to keep in contact over the phone rather than in person it was their way of doing their bit to keep New Zealand safe.
She said after posting her number to everyone in the group she had had a great response.
“They’ve said what a good idea. And the ones I have rung have said ‘thank you so much for ringing me’. They really appreciate it.”
“We all need to keep in touch, especially under these restrictions, not only at Edmund Hillary. We can be an example not just to Ryman or even New Zealand but to the whole world!”
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