Willoughby Retirement Community Association (WRCA) is a registered charity and a tax-deductible gift recipient located in Chatswood, New South Wales. All donations are ploughed back into WRCA’s Self-Care Village and Aged Care Hostel.
Present and past residents, families and local organisations have supported WRCA’s charitable aims. Their gifts, no matter how small, combine to contribute to the wellbeing of WRCA residents and the local Willoughby/Chatswood retirement and aged community.
Recent generous donations have been received from Lenity Australia Limited, formerly Chatswood Community Care Association Limited (CCCA).
CCCA operated an Aged Care Nursing Home Charity on the site previously occupied by the Chatswood District Community Hospital bounded by Victoria Avenue and Hercules Street in Chatswood CBD. With the closure of CCCA’s Chatswood Community Nursing Home in 2014, CCCA changed its name to Lenity Australia and transferred the site for redevelopment into a multi-storey residential and commercial complex.
Originally, CCCA’s health and aged care services were provided at the home of a local identity, Dr Olver. Born in Cornwall, England in 1849, William Reath Olver, emigrated to Australia, married Minnie Folkes of Bathurst, bought property and businesses in Dubbo and later settled in Chatswood with their 5 children.
In 1892, Minnie purchased a block of land at the back of a large home “Quarry Lodge” fronting Hercules Street, Chatswood. William became a doctor at age 51 after graduating from Sydney University in 1900 with his degree conferred by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York on 1 June 1901 on their visit to Sydney. Dr Olver practised medicine in Europe for a short time, returning to Chatswood in 1904 to purchase and extend Quarry Lodge as a home from which he provided medical services and which he renamed “Ventongymps” after a village in Cornwall.
Minnie purchased a second block of land next to Ventongymps for their eldest son Harold Ivan Reath Olver who later joined the 2nd Australian Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron in 1914. A year after Minnie’s death, Harold was killed in action during WWI in Egypt in August 1916 at age 25. Dr Olver continued to devote his life to the health and well-being of the Chatswood/Willoughby community until his death at the age of 74 in 1923. The Sydney Morning Herald at the time also described the eminent Dr Olver as an extensive reader and collector of artworks and orchids.
In 1962, Dr Olver’s 4 children – Alice Constance, who married Frank Read of Roseville; Ilma Dorothy who married Harold Forbes of Pymble; Marjory Ethel who married James Powell Brown of Wahroonga in 1935; and Lloyd Reath, who married Kathleen Meek and graduated in the 1920’s to become an eminent doctor practising in London during WWII and later in Canberra – all agreed to formally donate the family home of Ventongymps as the local district hospital and later nursing home in order to continue their father’s vision for the Chatswood/Willoughby community.
Today “Ventongymps” is a heritage listed building, the shell of which remains situated on the redeveloped commercial site approved by Willoughby City Council.
Donations from Lenity to WRCA assist WRCA to continue the good works of the Late Dr Olver and his descendants over the last 100 years with regard to local health and aged care services.
Read more about Lenity and its forebears here.
Lenity’s donations to WRCA to date have been:
- December 2016 – New furnishings in WRCA’s Hostel
- February 2017 – New furnishings for WRCA’s communal lounge [known as The Grace Room after being originally furnished in the 1970’s by donation from Grace Bros (now Myer)]
- July 2018 – Solar panel project on the roof of WRCA’s Hostel and Tower building
|Donor Honour Roll|
|GRACE BROS (now Myer)||Furniture and fittings (Grace Room Lounge)|
|EDITH AGNEW||Financial bequest (Banksia Room improvement)|
|ISABEL BELL & FAMILY||Lounges for Hostel foyer & linen for Hostel units|
|LOUELLA DADZANOVS||Pianola, air-conditioning for Hostel dining room, water purifier|
|MADELINE GLENNAN||Sale of donated paintings (Dinnerware Hostel)|
|TAMARA GRAY||Kawai Piano|
|JOAN MILLER||Rocking chair for Self-Care foyer|
|BUD PODPERA||Whole of Estate (Linen for Hostel units & Banksia Room improvement)|
|MOLLY STAHLHUT||Centre pieces for Hostel dining room tables & Village lawn birdbath|
|JOAN TRAHAR||Linen for Hostel units & dining room|
|ETHEL WARNER||Financial bequest (Banksia Room improvement)|
|BETTY WHITMAN & FAMILY||Long leather lounge & buffet Grace Room|
|WILLOUGHBY CITY COUNCIL||Community Grants for Village flag pole, Residents’ computer and major donor towards Hostel car & Hostel Activities Area air-conditioning|
|JESSIE WRIGHT||Air-conditioning for Hostel office|
|WRIGHT, RUSSELL-FRENCH, KEARNS, MACHIN, GUY, STEEL, DONAHOO, EATHER, TAYLOR, KINGSFORD-SMITH, JACKSON, WATT, SCHRODER, DAVIES, DR THOMAS, KELDIE, RAMZY, ANDREWS, DR PERETZ, CARTER, BERNIE, CALDWELL||Special thanks to these families for donations towards our ‘people mover’|
|MACHIN, DONAHOO, KINGSFORD-SMITH, GUY, STEEL, SHEEHAN, LINCEY, DADZANOVS, JONES, SCIFLEET, FINDLAY, PIGOTT||Special thanks to these families for donations towards our Hostel Activities Area air-conditioning|
|HAROLD & JUNE KEARNS||Financial donation (Banksia Room improvement)|
|LEN & DOT GUY||Financial donation (Banksia Room improvement)|
|ALEC WILKINS||One fifth of Estate (Tower courtyard refurbishment)|
|LENITY AUSTRALIA LIMITED (formerly CHATSWOOD COMMUNITY NURSING HOME)||Financial donation for refurbishment of Hostel, Grace Room and gardens, solar panel rooftop project|