Welcome to Methodist Homes for the Aged (Eastern Cape)

Methodist Homes for the Aged (Eastern Cape)---MHA---is engaged in the business of providing affordable, secure, comfortable accommodation as well as caring, professional frail care facilities to qualifying retired persons and, as far as we are able to, providing products and services for all phases of their ageing process.  We endeavour to create and maintain a loving and supportive community-focused environment, subscribing to Christian values.




THE “FLYING FOX” TAKES TO THE SKIES---YET AGAIN

The ‘Flying Fox of Aldersgate’ has taken to the skies again - and although very nervous he was happy to pay the ‘bill’ once his paws were firmly back on the ground.

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In yet another foxy move by Billy Wilson Fox, 80, a long-time resident of the village, he trotted off to Mossel Bay with his daughter Carla, this time to sky-dive while his daughter rode horses.

This was not Bill’s first flight of fancy. In recent years Bill has gone hot air ballooning (in Australia), zip-lined in the Tsitsikamma, taken a trip in a glider and more recently (in March last year) para-glided, in tandem, off a high hill near the Wilderness.

Seeking yet another exhilarating experience he nervously booked a sky dive for July but had to cancel it when he was grounded with a bad bout of flu. Upon recovery he rebooked for November but again was grounded at short notice when he had to undergo a four-way heart bypass. His doctor promised him he would have him back playing his favourite game, tennis, by February 2018.

Bill was not going to let an op stop him in his tracks and soon thereafter every morning and evening he was sighted trotting around Aldersgate, getting his exercise.

He rebooked for March, knowing that his daughter Carla would be arriving from Australia. Shortly after her arrival Bill, wife Pam and Carla drove to Mossel Bay and booked B&B on a horse farm.

After a thorough briefing from his instructor, ‘Mr G’, Bill took to the bright blue skies in a very small, light, high-winged single prop plane on a near perfect day to jump.

He said they were the only passengers in a rather cramped cockpit; in fact so cramped, he said, he had to sit strapped to his instructor, on his legs.

When the plane was two miles (about three kilometres) up he, as instructed, hung his legs out the open door. Bill admits ‘I was very nervous and the tension was running high’. Down far below he could see the distant land mass.

Then came the order to jump. Immediately they left the plane he found himself turned upside-down due to the severe turbulence, with a great G force distorting his cheeks. ‘We remained that way until the drone parachute was deployed to stabilize us. I will admit that was one of the scariest moments of my life’.

Bill said they free-fell for about half the distance, reaching a speed, according to his instructor, of 220km per hour. Once the main chute deployed they began to drift gently to the ground, all the while, in the silence of the moment, surveying the 360° view while Mr G occasionally pointed out a few local features.

Coming in to land at ‘quite a pace’, he followed the instruction to pull hard on his leg straps to rise. They hit the ground softer than he had imagined they would, and walked away unhurt but feeling hugely exhilarated.

In fact so exhilarated he now wants to try a sky-dive somewhere in the Drakensberg.

But the Flying Fox’s vixen Pam, greatly relieved once he was safely back on terra firma, now wants him to keep his paws firmly on the ground!

(article submitted by fellow resident Colin Urquhart)



CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS AT ALDERSGATE!
27 December 2017

About 20 Aldersgate residents who were not going out to family or friends on Christmas Day got together for a celebratory “bring, braai and share” lunch in their hall. Tables were beautifully decorated, there were lots of chefs around the braai, and there was a wonderful buzz of fellowship and laughter.

This is just another fine example of living in community, which is evident across the MHA family in so many ways.

Some events are organized by a Fellowship Committee or Group, others just happen spontaneously, but there is always a sense of enjoyment and appreciation. This particular event was started by Jeanne Speed, one of the original Aldersgate residents about 20 years ago, and it has become a tradition.  

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DAVID GARRETT: THE PASSING OF A PIONEER
17 December 2017

The MHA family mourns the passing of one of its pioneers, David Garrett, who died on 17 December 2017, at the age of 84.

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During his working career David was highly respected in the financial services industry, and in the business world generally. He was invited to join the MHA Board in 1993, and he brought with him a broad range of business skills and excellent leadership qualities. When Bob Zeiss retired as Chairman in 1996, David took his place, and continued to serve on the MHA Board in that capacity until he resigned in 2007.

Under his skilled leadership MHA witnessed increasing growth and expansion, even though during that time the organization went through unprecedented financial challenges. Together with staff and fellow Directors he kept the ship afloat, off the rocks, and eventually forward into new and calmer waters.

The MHA family will keep Pat, and the whole family, in their thoughts and prayers, at this sad and difficult time.


BRINGING JOY TO SOME ELDERLY FOLK IN GQEBERA TOWNSHIP

12 December 2017

Each year in December MHA hosts a gathering in celebration, in a church hall in Gqebera (Walmer) township. Present this year were many of the sixty beneficiaries of our Nikithemba outreach project, together with the five wonderful carers and their supervisor, our General Manager and three Board members. Each beneficiary or a representative (many arriving with a wheelbarrow, to act as a "delivery service"!) received a lovely hamper of food to take home, courtesy of our catering service providers, Eastern Province Catering, and a thoughtful gift package from residents of Cassia Gardens. In addition, the caring staff were handed a monetary gift donated by generous residents of Aldersgate.

The joy on the face of each recipient was a privilege to witness, and MHA is proud of the Nikithemba project, now in its thirteenth year. Nikithemba in isiXhosa means "To give hope", and MHA believes that this outreach project does just that. During the year many communities within MHA Villages reach out to the beneficiaries, by way of parcels containing consumables and clothing. When you love, generosity is everywhere!!

In the photograph are two beneficiaries, our five carers (in navy or white uniforms), their supervisor Simpiwe Given Mpaliso (standing at the rear), and Board members Thuthuka Songelwa and Odwa Mtati.


ON THE ROAD TO FURTHER SUCCESS
8 December 2017

 In recent weeks some of our Housekeeping ladies underwent training to become Careworkers, as they wanted to enhance their careers. Our recently retired Nursing Services Manager (pictured, together with General Manager Hein Barnard, with the graduates) conducted the training inhouse, and in late November the proud ladies completed their course, and were handed certificates.

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Well done, ladies!! You took advantage of an opportunity, and we look forward to observing your future growth as you care for residents in our two frail care units.



OUR NEW NURSING SERVICES MANAGER!!
8 December 2017

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As a result of Matron Margie Kampman taking early retirement as at end-November 2017, MHA has appointed Matron Sanet Marx as her replacement. She commenced duties on 1 November.

Sanet comes from a Tarkastad farming family, and attended Cradock High. After Matric she went off to au pair in Italy for a year (adding Italian to her fluency in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa!). She then came to PE in 1994 and enrolled at the Sharley Cribb Nursing College in Park Drive where, after four years’ study, she obtained her Nursing diploma.

In 1998 Sanet started work in one of our Municipal clinics, focusing on community health nursing but specializing in HIV management and treatment. In 2011 she was approached to join the St.Francis Hospice team, where she was involved in palliative care, education and training (the latter including distance learning through North West University). She believes that everything happens for a reason; her choice of career, her move to Hospice, and now to MHA, is the fruit of that belief! Her mission is simple, yet profound: never allow a resident to feel invisible.

Sanet has been married to Riaan for 20 years, and they have two daughters, Esté and Sanri.

Welcome on board, Sanet!!



BOB ZEISS (19/02/1929—02/10/2017): GOD’S AMBASSADOR!

Bob Zeiss, one of the founding fathers of MHA in PE, its second Chairman, and latterly a resident at Cassia Gardens, has sadly passed away.

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At the funeral service on 6 October, Rev. Dr Bruce Woolard referred to Bob as God’s Ambassador, and how fitting that title is. Bob was a devout Christian, a committed Rotarian, a loving family man, someone who threw himself into community roles in the service of others, and he was someone who touched the lives of so many, across generations.

Rev. Woolard expanded on Bob’s character, saying that he was an optimistic man who always had a positive influence, he loved people, he was a man of vision in heart and mind, he was both tenacious and resilient, and possessed a lovely sense of humour.

The MHA family mourns the loss of a great man, and we extend condolences to his wife Joyce, to his family, and to those he loved and served, and who loved him in return. Bob and Joyce were blessed to have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on 27 September.

RIP, Bob.



                                        

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© Methodist Homes Port Elizabeth 2016, Photographic copyright © Colin Urquhart, Karl du Preez, FLIPmedia