Nestled deep in a lush valley is a village within a village: a happy place, neat, tidy and friendly. This peaceful hamlet is the Valley of Praise Retirement Village in Lobethal.
Currently, there are fifty-five houses built on the five acre village, with plans for seven more three bedroom homes which will be finished by the end of 2012. The houses are spacious, modern and well equipped, with two and three bedrooms. All white goods are included and a small outside area, that you may sculpt into the garden of your own choosing – or not.
The land is owned by the Lobethal Lutheran Church and is run by a volunteer Board of Management, as a not-for-profit business, purely for the benefit of the wider community. This altruistic vision takes some pressure off aged care facilities and governments, which in turn then aids our society tremendously.
Besides having the money for the purchase of a house, there are only two other requirements to becoming a resident; you must be over fifty-five and not working full time. Anyone is eligible.
There are many benefits to living in the village and being close to the Lobethal Bakery ranks quite highly with resident, John Schwarz. Talk about having your cake and eating it: this is independent living with perks!
John and his wife, Dianne, describe it as ‘the best of both worlds’. The ability to downsize but retain your independence is a huge advantage as you still have your own doctors, dentists, activities and freedom, coupled with comfortable and convenient living.
“It’s easy to move around as everything is on one level and it’s almost maintenance free”, said John.
By maintenance free, John means that someone else does it! Terry Schubert is the Maintenance Manager and he basically fixes everything; from replacing light bulbs and general maintenance to landscaping, mowing lawns and pruning roses.
Terry stressed that this is a ‘not-for-profit’ venture; all money made over and above costs goes back into improvements at the Retirement Village.
He said, “the Village is important because it is a place to retire amongst people of the same age, with neighbours, friends and a lifestyle in which to grow old gracefully”.
The Activity Centre within the heart of the Village is run by committee and offers daily activities such as cards, craft, bingo, indoor bowls, exercises, film nights, hire for residents and more. Nothing is compulsory, you only need attend if you wish.
The entrance to the village is at 85 Main Street, Lobethal, which makes it totally convenient to all shops and amenities within the township itself. There are plans for further expansion and for the building of a Leisure Centre which will include a swimming pool, treatment rooms, gymnasium, large screen and kitchenette.
Garages are available to residents who need to house their caravans or boats and a communal workshop or “men’s shed” is open to all within the village.
A recently landscaped area with gazebo, BBQ and picnic facilities sits picturesquely alongside the Western Branch Creek for residents to enjoy and for those so inclined, there’s even a gate through to the Lobethal Lawn Bowls Club.
Dianne Schwarz summed the Village up as a secure and comfortable place in which to live and make friends, without living in each other’s pockets. If you would like to know more please phone Terry Schubert on 0408 896 811.