21 February 2020

Geography lesson in NSW brings smiles to Waroona residents

A lesson in geography at a school in Warner’s Bay in New South Wales has brought smiles to the faces of residents at the Waroona Multipurpose Service in Charleville.

As part of their geography lesson, youngsters Rani East-Jeffs (10) and brother Micah (7), together with sister Esha (1 year), decided to share a CD of their late grandfather’s band’s music with different nursing homes around Australia that they found on the web.

Waroona was one of the homes that received a CD and personal note from Rani and Micah and Esha.

“We would like to give you this CD and we hope that you all enjoy listening to the Good Time Band,’’ Rani and Micah said in an accompanying note.

“The Good Time Band played songs that were popular back when my Poppy was young. My Poppy was a guitarist in the band. He is the one in the blue shirt holding the really snazzy red guitar. Poppy passed away 14 years ago, and Grammie had some spare CDs left over.

“We came up with the idea to share Poppy’s music through sending it around Australia to different nursing homes we found on the internet.

“We would love to hear from you because, at the moment, we are learning about Australia in Geography. I am tracking on a map where we are sending the CDs.

“We look forward to hearing from you and hope Poppy’s music brings you lots of enjoyment and lots of great memories.’’

Waroona Director of Nursing Tara Quirke said the gift from Rani, Micah and Esha had brought tears to the eyes of everyone at the home and the residents were loving the old-time music on the CD.

“Our activities staff are playing it twice a day and everyone has been singing along and some have been getting up to dance,’’ she said.

“It’s an incredibly personal gesture that has given everyone a lift, both staff and residents and residents’ families. We are so grateful to Rani, Micah and Esha.’’

Songs on the CD include such old-time favourites as Lili Marlene, Till We Meet Again, You Are My Sunshine, The Northern Lights Of Old Aberdeen, Put Another Log On The Fire, When The Saints Go Marching In and many more.

Mrs Quirke said Dorne McDonald, the wife of one of the residents, had penned a lovely note to send in reply to Rani, Micah and Esha.

“Dorne also made a card which several residents have signed to say thank you,’’ she said.

“We are also putting together a small parcel with some Waroona information, highlights about Charleville from the tourism centre and messages from the residents to say thank you.

“We have all been really affected by this gift from the three children. It’s so beautiful.’’

Mrs McDonald said the CD and note would be treasured by all the residents at Waroona and their families.

“My husband Neil has been at Waroona for the past six years as a result of a stroke and it brought the biggest smile to his face and to other residents,’’ she said.

“We played the CD specially on Valentine’s Day and everyone who could was tapping their feet, singing along or dancing.

“It was such a lovely thought to think of us and send the note and the CD. It will be enjoyed for years to come.’’

Mrs McDonald said she had written a detailed letter back to Rani, Micah and Esha, along with some family photos.

In it, she thanked the children for their note and gift and described her life with Neil and talked about their two sons and their seven grandchildren, three of whom live on a cattle property 150 km northwest of Charleville and four who live in Tasmania.

“I told Rani, Micah and Esha about life on the land out here in the west, the wildlife, cattle mustering, about how my Charleville grandchildren were educated when young through the School of Distance Education, how their nearest neighbour is 10 km away, the sorts of things young children might be interested in.

“I think they will be very happy to hear back from us here at Charleville.’’

PHOTO CAPTION

The front and back of the Good Time Band CD, with the accompanying note from Rani, Micah and cd and letter back cd and letter front Esha.

ENDS