For two sisters who value family above all else, moving into Edmund Hillary Retirement Village fit the bill perfectly.
Not only can Trish and Althea Wyndham-Jones continue living together in their ideally-designed apartment, they have expanded the feeling of family 100-fold!
“It’s like one big family, this community, and you do look out for others,” says Trish.
“It’s not a home, it’s a lifestyle. And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Althea agrees: “We think we’re really lucky with our apartment because the layout is great, and perfect for us to cook and entertain, which we love.”
Indeed, the apartment comprises of one large living space including lounge, kitchen and dining area, with two bedrooms placed on either side of the lounge.
One of the bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom while the second bedroom has a bathroom just two steps away.
The sisters are indebted to Sales Advisor Becky Gillanders for picking out such an ideal accommodation for them after what was really a chance visit to the village’s annual art showcase.
“I just needed some photos for our weekly family blog so we went along to look at the artworks and we ended up doing a tour of the village with Becky!” laughs Althea.
“But this apartment is perfect for two sisters, she got it so right.”
Trish and Althea sold their house just three streets away, from where they had had a view of the village for the past nine years.
“We could see Edmund Hillary from our house, and we can still see our old house from our balcony here!” laughs Trish, pointing from their fifth-floor aspect.
“But the driveway was so steep we had to use the tow bar to take the rubbish bins up the road so this is much better for us now.”
The two sisters say they have always been close.
“There’s only one year and six days between us so we’re like twins,” says Althea.
They have two older sisters who live in Tauranga and they both dote over their niece, nephew and great niece.
“We’re a very close family, all of us.”
All four sisters came over to New Zealand from Wales as young children when their RAF pilot father, who had been injured in a Spitfire crash, was advised to move to a warmer climate for his health.
The sisters grew up in Herne Bay but, up until the pandemic struck, have returned regularly to maintain ties with relatives back home in Wales.
“We love overseas travel and our family!” says Trish.
“It’s great that we can lock up and leave our apartment, whereas before we had the worry of leaving the house empty.”
Althea was a secretary/PA in Auckland for most of her working life with a couple of 2-3 year stints living and working in London while Trish worked initially as a secretary and then for 14 years at Dilworth School as a senior housemaster on senior campus, alongside her sister Sue who was matron at the junior campus.
They knew a few people in the village already and say they enjoy getting to know people of all ages and interests.
“There are so many different age groups and personalities, we decided to make friends all over the place,” says Trish.
“We’re great talkers so we find it easy to make friends and we’ve enjoyed making a new life here. We wish we’d moved in earlier!”