Two people’s lives were toasted at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre recently when residents Lynn Kingston and Frank Lucas were ceremoniously awarded mini biographies.
Friday, August 26, 2016, saw a long-time dream of liaison officer at the care centre, Phyllis Phillips, come to reality, when the initial two ‘My Story’ booklets were handed over to Lynn and Frank in the midst of family, friends and loved ones.
Phyllis got the idea on a trip to Australia. It involves a friend, volunteer or loved one spending quality time with a resident taking trips down their memory lane and capturing their life story.
Then a booklet is produced, complete with photos and stories across the ages.
“This is such a therapeutic and meaningful project,” said Phyllis. “Rand Aid is amazing in supporting initiatives like this one,” she said, and thanked the NPO. “Through the people-centred Eden Alternative programme, Rand Aid celebrates the importance of each individual life – who they are is as important as the care they receive. We are not just here to look after our residents.”
Lynn’s story was captured by another resident of Elphin Lodge, Jean Johnson, while Frank’s was captured by his wife Pat – who also lives at Elphin Lodge, and his daughter Jill Middleton.
“This is an amazing honour to bestow on my Dad,” said Jill at the celebratory tea, adding that the book will be handed down the generations in her family. Frank has achieved so much in his lifetime, including being Mayor of Bedfordview. His greatest success however is the wonderful, close-knit family he heads. All four of his children, a number of his grandchildren and even a great grand-daughter were present on the morning of the tea.
Lynn was deprived of oxygen at birth and has lived with cerebral palsy. Despite her adversity, she contributes positively to society, working for 46 years as a switchboard operator at her alma mater, Forest Town; and helping raise Lucky Dinake, who is a PR councillor today for the DA in Bedfordview.
“You might see a small figure sitting in a wheelchair,” said author Jean, “but she is a phenomenal woman.”
“Lynn was and remains a mother to me – she is my best friend, and partner in crime in our incredibly alternative family. She endured so much difficulty with such grace and inspired me to be the man I am today,” said Lucky.