Torbay Lifestyles & Care

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Our History

In 1938 Charles Inman left the Red Cross his home and property ‘Airlee’ on the Esplanade at Point Vernon to provide accommodation for elderly ladies.

The deeds of the home were handed over by Cecil Inman, son of Charles Inman to Lady Wilson, wife of the Governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Wilson. She accepted them on behalf of the Red Cross. By 1974 the Inman Home was operating at a loss and the Red Cross had to close it and the elderly lady residents were forced to find alternative accommodation. Only two found accommodation in the district and the rest were forced to move elsewhere.

Don McBain and his wife Valerie had worked as volunteers in the Inman Home and called a meeting of concerned residents to see what they could do to prevent this happening again. They decided that there should be a permanent home for seniors in Hervey Bay to provide secure accommodation and to meet their ongoing needs. This concern and dedication still drives the organisation today.

Following the first meeting, they launched an appeal for funds and had an overwhelming response. Mr Walter Burton, a blind pensioner, donated 10 acres of land adjoining his residence in Exeter Street Torquay.

In 1981 the Committee changed the organisation to a company called the Hervey Bay Retirement Village Limited. This name continued until 2007. Hervey Bay Retirement Village Limited was constituted as a company limited by guarantee.

In 2000 the company built its first nursing home. The building was called Shawhaven in recognition of the work done for the organisation by Reg and Betty Shaw. This was the start of a complete re-development of the whole site which ended in 2005.

It was recognised at this time that another village was required and the organisation started looking for a possible site. A site in Urangan was purchased in 2004 and an adjoining property was acquired in 2005. This provided the site for a new retirement village named Parklands Retirement Haven and called ‘Torbay–Parklands’ for short.

During the planning for Torbay–Parklands the question of whether it should have its own kitchen or whether we should have one kitchen supplying both villages. The decision was made to have one kitchen and locate it off-site. The Airport Nursery was determined as a suitable site for the kitchen and it was purchased in 2007. An area was set aside for a kitchen and laundry and the balance of the land which contained the nursery business was leased out and is still operating very successfully with the new lessees.

In 2007 the company changed its name to Torbay Lifestyles & Care Limited but is still a company limited by guarantee.

In May 2011 we commenced a building division called Torbay Constructions to do our own building and to generate additional funds for the aged care facilities by undertaking external work. This division was changed to a company in November 2012. The new company is called Torbay Constructions Pty Ltd.

The original site of Torbay Aged Care and Retirement Village in Exeter Street, Torquay, was donated by Walter Burton and a 50-place low care hostel was constructed and opened in 1977. The site has been progressively developed by the acquisition of adjoining land. The final piece of land, Abbott’s Property, in the middle of the village was acquired in 2008. This site is called ‘Torbay–Torquay’, to distinguish it from the new retirement village ‘Torbay–Parklands’.

Torbay–Torquay is fully developed except for Abbott’s Property. Abbott’s Property is 1.5 hectares and currently has a Development Approval for 45 independent living units.

Torbay–Torquay is built on 12.13 hectares including Abbott’s Property. Torbay–Torquay currently consists of 165 aged care places and 159 independent living units, most of which are stand-alone villas.

In 2004 eight hectares of land was purchased in Emerald Park Way (formerly ‘Urangan Street’), Urangan, to build an aged care facility together with separate independent living units (most of which will be stand-alone villas). An adjoining property of 2 hectares was purchased in 2005 to complete the development site.

In 2005 the Federal Government allocated 43 aged care places followed by a further 20 places in 2008 to this site.

Construction commenced on the first 48 places of the aged care facility and 14 independent living units in May 2009. The first 20 places of the aged care facility opened November 2010, the next 28 places opened on 23 August 2011 with a further 24 places opening on 15 April 2013.

The first 14 independent living units opened November 2010.

Don McBain worked actively in the planning, fundraising and development of TORBAY. He held the position of Secretary until his passing in 1995. Don started the Village Bingo and ran it every Wednesday night without fail. At one stage he had run bingo for 209 consecutive Wednesday nights. He was awarded the British Empire Medal “for Service to the Aged” in 1980. That year he was also recognised as ‘Citizen of the Year’. Don is recognised as the Founder of TORBAY.

In 1977 Clarrie Millar A.M., Federal Member for Wide Bay, opened Torbay Aged Care and Retirement Village in Torquay. The village had 50 low care places. Clarrie Millar was made Patron in 1981.

Reg Shaw joined the committee in 1975 and was elected President in 1979. Reg Shaw had a background in business and particularly building. His expertise saw the Torbay Aged Care and Retirement Village grow to its present size of 165 aged care places and 159 independent living units. Reg retired as President in 2004 after 25 years of dedicated voluntary service to TORBAY. He was honoured with the Order of Australia Medal for his work with TORBAY and with the RSL.

Neville Searle in his book The Neville Searle Story of the Torbay Lifestyles & Care 1974 to 1992 tells the story of how TORBAY got its name this way:

Many suggestions were made, but that of “Torbay” suggested by Mrs Elsie Coleman of Taylor Street, Pialba was selected.
“Torbay” the chosen name, was a combination of Torquay and Hervey Bay. The local Torquay has an association with Devon, England. The donor of the land, Mr. Wally Burton came from Torquay, England, therefore, “Torbay” was a fitting memorial to the donor. Note also that our surrounding streets – Tavistock, Colyton, Exeter and Bideford are also names in Torquay, England.”

The committee and later the company ran Bingo at a variety of sites and raised the funds to continue building the Torbay Aged Care and Retirement Village. The Torbay Bingo ceased in 2002 as poker machines started and other bingos reduced our crowds to unviable numbers.

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Torbay Lifestyle Village

43 Exeter St,
Torquay QLD 4655
(07) 4125 0800