Stephanie Buckland, Chief Executive Officer, Amana Living
Amana Living will mark its diamond jubilee in September this year, acknowledging 60 years of serving older Western Australians.
We’ve celebrated many milestones over the years including the recent 50th anniversary of St Francis Court, a retirement village built around the Parish church of Inglewood and opened in May 1972.
The church was originally part of the Parish of St Patrick’s, Mt Lawley, and it was built to meet the needs of the parishioners in North Inglewood who wanted a church of their own.
The foundation stone of the church hall was laid in September 1953 by then Archbishop of Perth, The Most Reverend Robert Moline and the building was dedicated to St Francis in May 1954.
St Francis, known as Francesco in his youth, was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Italy. He lived a comfortable life until he went to war in the early 1200s and was taken prisoner. This experience, coupled with illness upon his release and a sudden vision, changed his outlook on life.
St Francis decided to reject his wealth and devote his life to caring for the poor and sick. This life of service and his preaching inspired others to follow him and the Franciscan Order was formed.
We share many of the same values as St Francis, including our approach to treating every person with dignity and respect, and embracing people of all backgrounds. Our retirement living communities, like St Francis Court, embody this approach.
They are havens for a wide variety of people, a community where support is always on hand and friendship is offered freely. At St Francis Court, this is thanks to the likes of Reverend Dave Russell who is the Amana Living chaplain and a village resident for 15 years.
They are places where people have purpose. Like Volunteer Pastoral Carer Pam Middleton who has been visiting St Francis Court for nearly 20 years to help nourish the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of residents. Or Bernie Courchee who has been the organist at St Francis of Assisi church, which is now the
St Francis Court Chapel, from 1953 until recently.
And they are places where you can remain connected to and be part of the community that surrounds the village. At St Francis Court, the church ties are strong, and the village is only a short walk to Beaufort Street and the bustling life it offers.
We are fortunate to run villages like St Francis Court across Perth, and also in Bunbury, Kalgoorlie and Albany. It’s an honour to help older people to enjoy a fulfilling life in these communities and we look forward to fostering these inclusive homes for many years to come.