Clarence Village celebrates golden anniversary
FIFTY years ago this week, a resolution was made by Grafton City Council to recognise the need to support and house the city's senior citizens, and Clarence Village was the result.
Half a century later the organisation celebrated its anniversary on Monday, and its achievement in establishing almost 150 supported and independent living units across Clarence Village and 74 aged care rooms at Dougherty Villa.
Clarence Village CEO Duncan McKimm said the milestone was significant for a number of reasons, not least of which that the founding Chairman Bill Dougherty OAM was able to attend.
"Not many organisations make it to 50, let alone charitable ones. It's a source of great pride for our whole team and our residents that we've not only made it, but that we keep getting stronger and doing more," Mr McKimm said.
"Having Bill here to cut the cake on fifty years as the founding chairman and now our patron is really special as well. What an enormous contribution he's made to the community and Clarence Village in particular."
Other patrons, including Page MP Kevin Hogan and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis MP, were also in attendance at the celebration and annual general meeting.
Mr McKimm said Clarence Village was still community-owned after fifty years, and the organisation was now fundraising for a 22-unit affordable housing development in South Grafton to meet the growing need for seniors on the south side of the Clarence.
Mr McKimm says finding a way has been part of the organisations DNA.
"As I went back through the archives this year I found plenty of documents and notes detailing the efforts to raise funds and find ways to build what needed to get built," he said.
"If there were two phrases that summed up the organisation's approach from its origins it's that we need to 'have a go' and 'find a way' to get things done."