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Ryman NZ CEO Cheyne Chalmers and MP Megan Woods unveil portrait

Written by Alan Wood
on July 03, 2023

An Anthony Wilding ‘refurb party’ went off with lights, cameras, action and some special guest appearances showing just how well the ambitious refurbishment has worked.

Those walking into a fantastic village reception area today included Ryman Healthcare New Zealand Chief Executive Cheyne Chalmers who welcomed Wigram MP Megan Woods.

Both Cheyne and Megan revealed the plaque, to the applause of the crowd. And there was also a surprise unveiling still to come!

Cheyne set the scene by telling everyone the story of the more recent additions at Anthony Wilding village, which first opened in  2007.

Cheyne said when she first arrived at Ryman three years ago, Anthony Wilding was one of her first ports of call. Soon after the plans for a refurbishment grew, with an eventual price of $8 million.

“I’m just blown away by how beautiful the village centre’s looking, and the café, and I cannot wait to have a coffee. I’ve got an order in.”

Luckily for the residents of Anthony Wilding village the shopping list for the upgrade over two years of rolled-out stages turned out to be top shelf.

The really modern feel includes lighting features. The walk-in to reception area is closely connected to an on trend café. As residents and guests walked further into the main building, they saw the sales office, a polished and inviting library and a theatre/reflection room – all featuring design features.

There have been upgrades to the village gym, the swimming pool and associated changing rooms, the dining room and servery. There is still some work to do on kitchens and the care centre dining rooms.

Other additions include a new buggy room and a new residents’ workshop.

Megan Woods said it was wonderful to see the wellbeing and care of senior New Zealanders was being looked after in villages such as Anthony Wilding. “I think about it each and every day. My father came to live with me in October last year, just down the road actually.

“So just understanding how important it is to have well laid out spaces, where things can be done well, is so critical to living life well.”


Cheyne thanked Megan and went on to thank the residents, Village Manager Sharon Armstrong and her team along with the talented design and property teams and Rymanians including Chris Camm, Sara McCunnie, Frank Wang, Tim Goodwin, John Beuth and Louise Brown.

She also touched on the life of Anthony Wilding who died on the 9th of May 1915, killed in action in France during World War I. Cheyne and Megan unveiled a portrait of Anthony Wilding, painted by New Zealand artist Craig Primrose. Cheyne reminded everyone that Anthony grew up at his parents house, on the shores of the Heathcote River. “He is regarded as the world’s first tennis superstar, winning 11 grandslam tournaments between 1909 and 1914.”

Village Manager Sharon Armstrong said residents were already enjoying utilising the improved spaces. “So, we’ve got an additional activities room, a games room, a café, which is wonderful. I do have to do test quality control each day for coffee... I highly recommend it,” she said.

“Also, the café is working really well for the social interaction for our residents and relatives.”

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 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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