TriCare Aged Care Residences are wonderful, diverse communities, and everyone has a story to tell. It is a privilege for staff who get to hear from residents first-hand – in fact, the tales are so rich that they deserve a bigger audience. We hope these blogs provide an insight into the amazing lives of our wonderful residents. In this Resident Story, we will be meeting Bridget, a Cypress Gardens Aged Care Resident.
Bridget Bonner Kingsman was born on the 1st of May 1943 in her grandparents’ home on Arranmore Island, just off the coast of Donegal in Ireland. The home was built by her grandfather, using local stone that he dug out from the ground around the area. The home was known to everyone as ‘Pinkie’, due to the large garden of strawberries that her grandfather had planted. Bridget’s parents, Katie and Michael Bonner, built their own new home with the help of Bridget’s Aunt Sarah, her grandparents, and Bridget herself. Bridget was subsequently joined in the new home by several siblings, three brothers and three sisters. This large family meant that Bridget was never short of a playmate!
A musical mystery tour
Bridget has always been a passionate fan of music and her interest was nurtured by rubbing shoulders with some of music’s biggest names. One of her earliest encounters was with a young Daniel O’Donnell who, at just 19 or 20 years of age had started singing at local pubs around Donegal. Customers who clearly recognised his raw talent took up a collection to help him start his music career, which of course took off.
After Bridget moved to Australia with her husband Doug, they met up with some friends who were also friends of Daniel O’Donnell. Daniel was performing at Twin Towns and Bridget’s group had three seats right at the front, beside the stage, and Daniel sang directly to Bridget during one of his songs!
In their younger years, Bridget and her sisters, Annie and Mary, moved to the UK to work. They all started working in a hotel in Liverpool, where Bridget met many famous people, including Cliff Richard and Tom Jones, and she has many great stories to tell about these musical legends! Bridget was always very good with handling money but was too young to work inside the casino with the high rollers, so the hotel set up a table outside for her to work, which her husband Doug has told us is still there today.
Bridget’s time in the Liverpool music scene gave her one of the most special and lasting musical experiences of her life – she met The Beatles. The Fab Four even invited Bridget and her friends to a barbecue on the beach. We’re sure this makes Bridget the envy of many readers! To this day, her favourite Beatle is still Sir Paul McCartney.
Come together at Cypress Gardens
Bridget moved to the Cypress Gardens Aged Care Residence on the 5th of November, 2021. She is still an enthusiastic fan of music, especially The Beatles, and loves singing along to a wide range of tunes. Her husband Doug comes to visit Bridget almost every day and is a favourite among Cypress Gardens staff.
Bridget also enjoys joining in with the walking groups, being out in the fresh air, and going to see the cows, roosters, and other animals in the fields close by to the residence.
Without a doubt, Bridget and Doug add a great amount of joy to the Cypress Gardens community, and we thank them for sharing their story.
To find out more about Cypress Gardens or to book a private tour, please get in touch with our team on 1300 874 2273 or click on the link below.