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The best of friends now live 29 steps apart - or is it 39?

Written by Christine McCurdy
on July 18, 2022

At 92 and 95 years of age respectively, Yvonne and Margaret have a friendship that has lasted 36 years and counting.  

They first met when Yvonne joined Paritutu Bowling Club in September 1986. At the time, Margaret was president of the ladies' club. 

“We got to know each other and just clicked,” they say together. 

That was the beginning of their friendship. When Yvonne’s husband died, she was left with a large house, and eventually bought a smaller unit on Annandale Street from a lady who still wanted to use it for three weeks of the year as her holiday home. Margaret already lived on the street, so it was very handy. 

“When the lady came to stay at my house, I moved into Margaret’s house five houses up the street. I was there for 18 years and went to Margaret’s for three weeks every year. That saved a bit of wine carrying!”  

When the time came to consider retirement villages, both Yvonne and Margaret decided Jean Sandel was the retirement village they wanted to live in, after a lot of research. Margaret was the first to get a lovely sunny serviced apartment, and Yvonne waited 17 months for the wonderful news from Michelle the sales advisor that a north–west facing corner independent apartment was available just down the corridor from Margaret – simply perfect! 

“Now Margaret and I are neighbours again. Margaret says we are 39 steps apart, I say 29!” says Yvonne. 

“It’s a very nice lifestyle here. We are both enjoying all that Jean Sandel offers, especially fine dining, and we’ll continue to do so for as long as we can,” says Margaret. 

They have also met a lot of new friends since moving to Jean Sandel village. 

“It’s very friendly here, we’ve made lots of new friends,” says Yvonne who still plays golf on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  

“We’ve met a lot of ladies, they’ve made us welcome, it’s very nice.” 

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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