By Narelle Coulter
When Frankston couple Judy and Fred Dietzch arrived at Casey Grange Village for the official opening of the new residents’ club house they soon got chatting to Dandenong North couple Phil and Carol Bowden.
By the time the couples found seats together near the club house bar they were well on their way to becoming friends, if not eventually neighbours.
Judy and Fred have purchased a villa in the Evans Road village and move in October.
The Bowdens have “a pin in the board“, as Carol laughingly described it.
Judy and Fred said they chose Casey Grange as their new home because they have family in the Cranbourne area and Casey Grange represented “good value for money“.
They described the new club house as “amazing“.
“This is the only place I’ll be,“ said Fred, with a grin.
“I’ll make good use of the bar and we hope to play bowls.“
“We will try anyway,“ added Judy.
The couples were among several hundred people who gathered at the club house for the official opening on Wednesday 18 July.
They were welcomed by Retirement Communities Australia managing director Andrew Philip who likened the growing community at Casey Grange to a small country town.
“The best forms of communities are small country towns. Villages like Casey Grange are like small country towns. The residents help each other out, they show generosity and compassion.“
He described the club house as “stunning“ but at the end of the day the facility was “bricks and mortar“.
“It is the people that really makes a community.“
Mr Philip said he expected the expansive dining space to be “filled with events happening all the time“ and that the bar had already hosted its first happy hour.
“There are great facilities here but even greater people.“
3AW personality Nick McCallum was the guest of honour at the opening. He kept the crowd entertained with stories about his adventures as a reporter and broadcaster.
“This is a fantastic club house. Enjoy chewing the fat.“
Mr McCallum donated his appearance fee to a new foundation being established by RCA to help women escaping domestic violence. A cheque was presented to RCA’s charity partner VincentCare.
When completed Casey Grange Village will boast 230 units and be home to up to 500 people.