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Royal Happy Birthday for Margaret Stoddart village

Christchurch village celebrates 25 years

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A surprise royal visitor made a very special appearance to mark Margaret Stoddart’s 25th anniversary.

Resident Joe Peri had just finished performing a beautiful karakia to get the celebrations under way when the band struck up God Save the Queen to herald the arrival of a special gatecrasher.

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Her Majesty the Queen – aka townhouse resident Veronica Shepherd – made a surprise guest appearance and revealed the startling news that her royal highness and the Duke of Edinburgh were considering a move to Margaret Stoddart.

“Buckingham Place and Windsor Castle have got a bit too much for Philip and I. Like a lot of you, we have been thinking of downsizing and we can think of no better village than Margaret Stoddart. We’ve heard there are two townhouses available – one for us and one for our servants – but we’re worried about putting the corgis in quarantine.’’

Unfortunately, Her Majesty was unable to stay for a cup of tea, cake and oysters because she had to jet back to London for an important meeting.

“I’m seeing your Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tomorrow so I’ve got to get back. My very best wishes and congratulations on your 25th anniversary.’’

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The Queen joined with Ryman Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod and Chief Operations Officer Barbara Reynen-Rose for a special afternoon tea celebration for the village.

Margaret Stoddart was opened in 1993 and was named in honour of the talented Canterbury painter.

Staff dressed in Victorian outfits in honour of the village’s namesake, and residents Janet Emeleus and Audrey Burton took the theme to heart by dressing as Margaret Stoddart and her mother Anna.

Gordon said Margaret Stoddart village would always hold a special place in his heart – it was his Nana’s home for six years.

She lived in a townhouse before moving to the resthome, and visiting Margaret Stoddart was Gordon’s first contact with Ryman Healthcare.

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Long serving staff members Anita Chapman, Jeni Keogh and Beck Little had looked after Gordon’s Nana, and he thanked them for their long service to the village’s residents.

“Margaret Stoddart is a special place and will always be special to me,’’ Gordon said.

“This village has provided comfort and joy and many special occasions for thousands of Christchurch residents. As a company we are incredibly proud of the contribution you have all made to so many lives, and will continue to make for the next 25 years or more.’’

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Manager Merrin Jack made special mention of Margaret Stoddart’s many superstars.

Sandra Adamson, the village’s hairdresser, was acknowledged for her 25 years of service.

She has been cutting hair at Margaret Stoddart since it opened.

“I love it here – I love the residents,’’ Sandra said. “I guess I wouldn’t have been here for 25 years if I didn’t like it,’’ she said.

There was a special bouquet for Joyce Walker, a townhouse resident for 15 years and a keen gardening volunteer.

Merrin also acknowledged Marie Edwards – a former staff member who liked Margaret Stoddart so much she moved in and is now a resident.

Winnie Winstanley and Bruce Boon were also acknowledged for their time at the village.

About Ryman:
Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 31 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman villages are home to over 10,500 residents, and the company employs over 4,700 staff.

For media information or images contact David King, Corporate Affairs Manager, on 021 499 602 (+64 21 499 602) or email david.king@rymanhealthcare.com.

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