Karrin and Graham loved their two-storey house in Bayswater. However, entering retirement meant the North Shore couple wanted to plan for the future.
“We know as you get older things change. We didn’t want the burden of maintaining a house and the gardens,” said Graham.
“We also knew with two of our three children living overseas, when the time comes there is a lot of pressure and responsibility on your children to make decisions. We wanted to take that pressure off our children,” said Karrin.
Growing up on the same road as the village, Karrin says she didn’t want to leave the area. So, in November 2020 they took the plunge and contacted William Sanders to view some of the planned independent living apartments.
“Staying in the area was an important part of our future. When we came to look at the apartments, we had no intention of buying yet, but ended up buying within 24 hours. We wanted to make sure we wouldn’t miss out!
“The apartment was exactly what we were looking for - modern, spacious and with amazing views. It’s the same outlook I saw as a child growing up in Ngataringa Bay,” said Karrin.
As well as having space for their family when they came from overseas, the apartment had room for their littlest family member, Maggie the Cavoodle.
The Byrnes have quickly settled into the Ryman community, making use of all the great amenities.
“I’ve been swimming most days, said Graham. The library is great, and the communal areas too.”
Not only are Karrin and Graham loving village life, but Maggie has made more than enough friends to last a lifetime.
“Maggie has qualified as a St John therapy dog, and we take her three days a week into the hospital, resthome and dementia unit here at William Sanders.”
“The first couple of times after her visits, we were quite tearful – in a good way,” says Graham.
“It really gets you in the heart when people’s eyes light up seeing Maggie.”
Maggie also loves the attention given to her by the residents.
“You feel so completely humbled by it, people really love seeing her and for us to take the time to visit and chat as covid has meant a lot of visitors, especially from overseas, haven’t been able to come.
“It’s amazing how a little creature like that can give people so much joy.”
For Karrin, Graham and Maggie, the Ryman experience has given them a new home, a new purpose and a new community all whilst staying part of the Devonport community they have spent a lifetime in.