Race day sparks the memories

By Christine McKay -
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From left, Peggy Hermansen and Bev Green enjoy a Melbourne Cup knees-up at Eileen Mary Age Care on Tuesday. Photo / Christine McKay
From left, Peggy Hermansen and Bev Green enjoy a Melbourne Cup knees-up at Eileen Mary Age Care on Tuesday. Photo / Christine McKay

A day at the races had all the ingredients of a great day out for a group of Dannevirke residents on Tuesday and they didn't have to leave home.

"Our residents organised their own Melbourne Cup day, with just a little help from staff," Eileen Mary Age Care diversional therapist Jenny Prenter said.

And the afternoon had all the excitement of the big day, including a few flutters - of the heart variety - as residents sang, danced and enjoyed a wee tipple in the run up to the big race.

Resident Phil Selwyn enjoyed gliding and twirling around the dance floor with caregiver Phyllis Holt.

"It's been 50 or 60 years since I've danced like that. It would have been at the country dances at Tipapakuku," he said.

Joe Renwick also took the dance floor and Ted Curran took a whirl in his wheelchair, with Phyllis on his knee.

Shirley McLanachan remembered her one trip to Melbourne for the Cup, many, many years ago.

"I didn't win anything and I can't remember when it was. But I do remember the beautiful horses," she said. "I went with my sister and I don't think we were dressed up. I just wanted to see the horses because I'd grown up in the country and used to ride to school."

Dressing up was all part of the day at Eileen Mary, with many residents wearing their own hat creations. However, Irene Emmerson dusted off her dainty pill-box hat she's owned since the 1950s, adding an extra touch of glamour.

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