Aveo communities are filled with inspiring individuals from an array of backgrounds. In this issue we meet Chimen Bhoola of Aveo Robertson Park.
Can we start with a little bit of background about you, your family and how long you have been living in Aveo Robertson Park?
"I was born in South Africa of Indian heritage. My grandfather moved to South Africa in 1890 and my father and his brothers were all born there. I have three daughters and four grandchildren. My wife passed away in 1986 in South Africa and I have now been living in Australia for 23 years. I have three brothers who live nearby."
What was your profession prior to your retirement and at what age did you begin contemplating a move into a retirement community?
"In South Africa my family had a wholesale business and we used to supply the hospitals and the schools with groceries. I moved to Australia in 1997 and moved to Aveo Robertson Park in October 2018."
What factors convinced you the timing was right?
"I was living in a three-bedroom cottage on my own in Robertson but found towards the end I could not manage to clean the swimming pool, the garden and the house. My daughter and I began looking at villages and retirement communities around the Sunnybank area but found many of them to be quite dated."
How did you know Aveo Robertson Park was the right place for you?
"I wanted something that was quite modern and had all the facilities I needed. My daughter and I looked quite extensively around the Sunnybank area because I was a member of the Sunnybank Club and three days a week I used to do Tai Chi exercises there. I was looking for a village that was close to the shops and bus stops so that I could go to the city by bus. I found Aveo Robertson Park and discovered it was close to my friends and family who live nearby. It has all the amenities I need here and the staff are very good."
How involved are you in village life and how do you enjoy filling your days outside of your immediate community?
"I often go to movies and theatre in the city and also meet family and friends who live nearby. As well as my brothers here, I also have other relatives in Brisbane and we are a very close family. They often invite me to their place for lunch and dinners and my daughter prepares some meals for me. Downstairs here, they have a beautiful kitchen and dining rooms, so I often entertain my friends and family here. I attend all the activities that are on offer here."
What is one thing your neighbours would be surprised to learn about you?
"That I am 87 years old and I do my own cooking and my own washing. I walk twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon. In our culture, my name means ‘happy in the mind’."
What is the one piece of advice you would offer others thinking about entering a retirement community?
"To give yourself about six months to get used to everything and to settle in."
Click below to discover Aveo Robertson Park.