The Law: Retirement Village – track record worth checking out
Certain questions will assist you to make the right decision
FRANK MORRISThe reputation and past performance of a village group (or sponsor) is an important criterion to consider when selecting retirement housing.
Not all retirement communities are successful. This is why a village’s track record is a vital ingredient when it comes to making the final decision.
Some villages run into financial difficulties or have management problems that may make your investment a risk.
Remember, when you buy or rent into a retirement village you want to spend the rest of your life happy and contented.
Certain questions may assist in determining those facilities that are more ‘substantial’ in your mind than others. For example:
There are exceptions
When was the project built? How long has the project been marketed? What is the history of management? Who is the sponsor of the village? Are they new to retirement housing or do they have many years of experience? What is the occupancy level of the village?
If a village community has been operating for, say, two years it should be at least 50 to 80 percent occupied. If it isn’t find out the reason. Sometimes, there are exceptions.
There are 6 ‘red flags’ for consumers in the retirement community, a sales executive said. “It is neither an exhaustive list nor a failsafe methodology. It is an initial attempt to better understand the nature of a problem and protect against it.”
He pointed that overbuilding, low value (particularly if it's a private village), insufficient in and depleted financial reserves, poor marketing and financial and operational mismanagement have a poor effect on the building.
New to the industry
“Management may be unable to pays its bills and consumers learn of these problematic consequences the hard way,” the executive said.
Instruct your accountant or solicitor to obtain the most recent audited financial statement – a necessary item for potential residents.
“Many developers or sponsors who are new to the industry are good at speculation,” a builder said.
“The sponsor is involved in the initial planning of the project and may maintain a relationship with the complex because of either having a financial investment or a position on the board of directors.
“Whereas, the management personnel are often hired under contract.”
[Check to see if there have been any complaints filed against the village of your choice. Contact the Department of Fair Trading in your State.]
Bushranger: Death of Johnny Gilbert! What was his real name?
Roy Mendham recalls him.
FRANK MORRISThe Waverley Hotel, said a habitually heavy drinker, was a “bush shanty”. The hotel stood at the corner of Bondi Road and Waverley Crescent, Bondi Junction, NSW.
On Saturday, January 14, 1854, the hotel was the site of a murder when publican John Davis was found hacked to death. A newspaper of the time described the crime and said that “it was a bloody mess.”
The newspaper said, “On the left of the head was a terrible gash extending from eye to the ear, the bed and bedding being saturated with blood. Under the bed was found a blood-stained axe which had done the deed.”
What made locals even more fearful was the isolation of Bondi Junction and that the murderer was known to be “on the loose and in their midst.”
The newspaper went on to explain the scene: “This event has struck no small degree of dismay into the residents of the neighbourhood … there being no police protection, the nearest point they could send for a constable being [at] Paddington, a distance of nearly three miles.”
Enter Joseph Roberts.
A veil of suspicion immediately fell upon Joseph Roberts, the nephew of John Davis. Roberts, a “mild looking youth [who was] said to be 17 years of age” and worked for Davis, was now missing.
Several mounted police started a search and 228 km south of Sydney Roberts was found at Collector near Canberra. He told police that he was riding to the goldfields. Local residents said Roberts’ guilt was “purely circumstantial” and “vouched for the boy’s good character.”
The murdered man’s widow, Mrs Davis, later gave evidence that “her unworthy spouse was a habitual drunk.” She had married Davis in September 1853 and stayed with him for three days.
At his trial Roberts showed the court how intelligent he was; he pleaded not guilty to the charge “in a firm and collected manner.” The trial stirs up intense local interest. When the case was heard on April 6, 1854, the court was crowded and the officials had difficulty in maintaining order.
Despite the fact that he fled on the night of the murder he was arrested and found to have money on him -- $200. His uncle was known to carry large sums of cash, and did so when he was killed.
The jury, alas, found him not guilty of Davis’s murder. He left the place soon afterwards and headed for the Goulburn district. However, Roberts soon fell in with a ‘bad crowd’, or ‘flash gang’, as the local landowners called it.
Joseph Roberts was born in Canada.
He and his uncle came to Australia in the 1850s and got hooked on the world-wide publicity about the gold discoveries in Victoria. They arrived in Melbourne from New York on board the Revenue in 1852.
Roberts is listed on the ship as 10 years old, making him only 12 at the time of his uncle’s murder. This conflicts with contemporary newspaper reports in which they described him as being 17 years old.
In his book The Dictionary of Australian Bushrangers, Roy Mendham claims that after the murder of his uncle Joseph Roberts became ‘Johnny Gilbert’, a bushranger who later rode with the infamous Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner. He was later a key part of their gang.
In the wanted notice for Johnny Gilbert from the Colonial Secretary Office in 1863, he is described as:
“Between 22 and 24 years of age, boyish appearance, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, between 9 and 10 stone, light brown straight hair, worn long in native fashion, beardless and whiskerless; has the appearance and manner of a bushman or stockman; and is particulately flippant in his dress and appearance.”
Joseph Roberts/Johnny Gilbert was killed by police at Binalong, 37 km north-west of Yass, on May 13, 1865. His body was taken to Binalong police station where it was put on display. Locks of hair were taken for souvenirs.
He was buried on May 16 in bush near Binalong, where his grave can still be seen today on the outskirts of town.
[Based on the article A bushranger at Bondi Junction.]
Hazel Hawke, dementia sufferer, painted for the Archibald Prize
In 2050, according to a study, there will be million people diagnosed with dementia. More and more people are being struck by this deadly disease. Think about your neighbours, your friends or your own family who might be in the grip of dementia – some of whom might need special care. Hazel Hawke has Alzheimer’s disease, an offshoot of dementia, for over 10 years. Hazel is still a “vibrant” person who was involved in the artistic process, Hazel’s daughter, Sue, said. Gillian Dunlop, ear nose and throat surgeon – also a painter – depicts Hazel in her diptych, entitled ‘I’m still here’. The painting shows Hazel before and after she developed Alzheimer’s. Gillian said: “She’s a woman who shaped Australia and Australians have such strong a regard for her. A lot of people wonder about her and how she is going.” Sue said: “We have to get over this idea dementia robs a person of their humanity. Frank Morris. [Quotes from SMH.]
COMING: Writing for pleasure and profit -- but you must be realistic; With Spider-Man the cult is growing; Delving into the past – what’s different about your family?