13 May

John Paul “JP” resident since August 2003

I remember the day I first arrived her at Fernvale Aftercare. It was in August 2003 and Lyn’s mum picked me up at South Brisbane. The drive out her seemed to take forever, but we did get here. On arrival at the gate I was greeted by the strangest welcoming committee I have ever had. It was a Dog and her name was Gypsy. I felt like I had finally found home. This will do me just fine, I said to myself. Within a short time I started off, on my own back, doing little things to help out. Soon after I was asked why I was doing it and my reply was and still is, this is my home now and if I can’t lend a hand to help out around the place, then there is something wrong. The staff then were pretty much like the staff now, friendly, compassionate and dedicated to their work. Sure I had flare ups and arguments what family hasn’t but we resolve these and move on.
I remember when I first started helping Vic Jewell in the kitchen, there was another person with us but one day he said he was having a break and then he left. A bit later we had someone else come along and we divided the days between us. One day on my day off, Vic came down to my room and asked me to come up and help him. Nothing had been done, it was a shambles but between us we got it done.
From that day on I was Vic’s right hand man, as he put it. Anytime Lyn or Vic needed a hand or needed something done, they would ask me, even their daughters got in on it. Which helped to make me feel even more like family.
Sadly we lost Vic in May 2013 and I miss him more than I do my real family. We done so much together and shared in things there were and still are private between us. But that is what family is for, and that is why we have and try to maintain a family environment.