Ryman Community News

Resident stories William Sanders

Euan Gaw builds a new life at William Sanders

Written by Sieska Conyngham
on June 16, 2022

New serviced apartment resident Euan Gaw moved into William Sanders just before Christmas last year.  

Selling his beautiful home in the Waitakere Ranges, where he settled after moving home from overseas, Euan decided the move to Devonport was right for him.  

“I needed less maintenance and to be closer to family, says Euan.  

“One of my daughters lives a couple of streets away, I felt like it was time to move.” 

Euan has enjoyed an extensive construction career across the South Pacific - living in places such as Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.  

“I was working for Fletchers here in Auckland building the School of Architecture. When that was completed in 1981, it was suggested that perhaps I should go to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.  

His wife wasn’t happy.  

“She said bugger off. They still eat people there! 

“Anyway, she went late night shopping that night, and on her way home she was waiting at the lights and when the green man went to cross a car came and ploughed through everyone in front of her. 

“She came home as white as a ghost and said if I can almost get run over crossing a road here, Port Moresby must be just as safe so we may as well go. 

Euan, his wife and two daughters left for Port Moresby in January 1982. 

“We constructed the debating chamber in the parliament of Port Moresby. There were three buildings under one roof. It was very complicated. I was the supervisor there.”  

He soon learnt the local ways, and his daughters attended the local international school.  

“I learnt the language Tok Pisin, and my wife was a teacher and taught in the international school where both our daughters went as well. Overall it was a great experience. 

After two years the family moved to the Soloman Islands where Euan worked on building the Reserve Bank.  

“We found it very challenging there, mind you this was back in the 1980s.” 

“After another two years I had the option to move to Fiji, but my wife couldn’t work as a teacher there, so we didn’t go.  

With good memories of life in the South Pacific, Euan is now looking forward to his retirement here at William Sanders, with views over the Waitemata Harbour.  

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,200 residents and the company employs 6,700 team members.

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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