Lovebirds in the Kookaburra nest
Neither Ron nor Iris were looking for love when they joined the Kookaburra Club, but that’s just what they found.
Each Tuesday, members of the Kookaburra Club gather at Elizabeth House, council’s positive ageing centre at Christie Downs, to enjoy social interaction, build friendships and enhance their wellbeing.
When Ron Cousins initially visited the club prior to Christmas in 2018 it was “just to have a look around”.
“My daughter recommended Elizabeth House and said I’d enjoy the atmosphere and meeting new people at the Kookaburra Club,” Ron says. “She was right about the atmosphere and it being a great place to meet new people, but I wasn’t looking for a partner.” That was until the end of Ron’s first official visit at the beginning of 2019 when he was approached by Iris Humphreys, who captured his attention.
“I can’t remember what Iris said to me that day, but when I went home I thought about her a lot and wondered how I could contact her again. I wrote Iris a letter on my computer and hoped she’d be there the next week so I could give it to her,” Ron says.
There Iris was.
“I read Ron’s letter and said ‘This isn’t a date, is it? Because I don’t do dates’”. Shortly afterwards, the pair visited a gelati shop in Glenelg and had a chat.
“And the rest is history,” Ron says. “It’s incredible, really. Iris wasn’t looking for a partner either. But now we have each other and we’re very much in love.”
Ron and Iris—who will both celebrate their 88th birthdays this year—agree that the Kookaburra Club feels like family. It’s a sentiment echoed by Program Coordinator Elena Bowles who says she feels “so lucky to be part of the club members’ lives”.
“Our morning teas give the club members an opportunity to sit around tables and fix all the issues of the world,” Elena says with a smile.
There are a range of activities on offer through the Kookaburra Club. Boardgames are a popular pastime, volunteers step the group through exercises, and fun brain-training tasks help keep minds active. Some members engage in crafts and computer classes, while others enjoy a walk in the garden. A physiotherapist also visits Elizabeth House on the first Tuesday of the month for anyone in need of healing hands. Members enjoy monthly outings to different places too.
“You don’t have to be lonely with places like Elizabeth House available,” Iris says. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you want company come to the Kookaburra Club.”
The Kookaburra Club is funded by the City of Onkaparinga, Department of Human Services and the Commonwealth Home Support Program. Transport can be arranged for club members.
For further information about the Kookaburra Club phone Program Coordinator Elena Bowles on 8384 5170, email Elena.Bowles@onkaparinga.sa.gov.au or visit onkaparingacity.com/Services-and-projects/Ageing-well/Kookaburra-Club