If you make judgement on a man by what he has achieved in his life, then there wouldn’t be too many harsh critics for Frank Pengelly OAM.
Frank is 89 years-old and is currently residing in a self-care unit at Peninsula Village, whilst his wife, Noeleen, lives within Peninsula Villages’ Jack Aldous House for high-care residents. For 13 years, Frank and Noeleen had been residing in independent living at Cooinda Village. However, as Noeleen’s health deteriorated, they made the decision to move across to Peninsula Village where they could receive are more holistic approach to their care.
It’s fair to say that sport has shaped Frank’s life. A talented athlete throughout his youth, he took his passion for sport off the field and into the boardroom. His outstanding efforts include serving positions such as President, Secretary, Treasurer, Director, Chairman and other titles of office over a multitude of sports, particularly Australian Rules Football and bowls. These accolades saw him awarded numerous Life Memberships and an Order of Australia Medal in 1998 for his service to sport.
A pivotal member in the Sydney bowls scene, Frank has been a member of many prestigious bowling clubs such as Willoughby Park and Cronulla, before joining the Everglades Bowling Club in 1998 – where he still visits every Tuesday and Thursday for a drink and to say “g’day” to his old bowling mates. He has built up such a rapport, that he is now Patron of the Everglades Bowling Club and is joined by seven fellow Peninsula Village residents on his regular club visits.
“Receiving the OAM was a very exciting day, I had to go to Government House to receive my award which made the experience feel even more prestigious. I was just happy offering my time to sports that I loved, and clubs that I deeply cared about, so to be recognised for such an award was a huge and unexpected honour,” Frank recited.
“Unfortunately, I have lost my balance a little and am unable to play bowls anymore, but I still make sure I pop in to the Everglades Bowling Club twice a week to say hello to everyone. I have grown very fond of the people involved there, they do a great job.”
His self-care unit at Peninsula Village looks over the onsite bowling green and Frank says that watching fellow residents coming for a roll is one of his favourite parts of the day.
“It is the friendships I have formed and the care of one another that I will remember most about playing bowls and even today the fellow residents are very warm and kind when they are out on the green,” Frank said.
When asked how he and Noeleen met, Frank is as quick as a flash to answer;
“I met Noeleen around 25 years ago at the Cronulla Bowling Club, I think it was her beautiful bowling style that attracted me to her,” Frank joked.
“We would see each other at the Bowls Club frequently and became very good friends after spending some time together. I feel as though I am a very lucky man to have such a special lady in my life.”
Frank thoroughly enjoys the friendly atmosphere Peninsula Villages offers and the married couple of 25 years were pleased that the residential aged care provider was able to accommodate them under the one roof. Although in separate units, Frank loves visiting Noeleen at Jack Aldous House.
“Noeleen’s memory has been deteriorating which is why she is getting the best care at Jack Aldous House but she thoroughly enjoys singing in the Village Choir which she partakes in every Friday and she really is a wonderful performer,” added Frank.
Peninsula Village Chief Executive Officer Shane Neaves said that Frank and Noeleen have been a great addition to the Peninsula Villages family.
“Frank has a proud and honourable history in sport and his continued passion for activities such as golf putting, walking and mini bowls around Peninsula Village is very encouraging for our other residents,” Shane said.
“As a residential aged care village that offers both independent living and care options, we can offer continuity of care for our residents meaning they can receive more comprehensive and holistic living options.
“Residential care isn’t about just taking care of the physical needs of residents but focusing on the individual’s entire needs including emotional and mental health. There needs to be continuity and appreciation for catering to individual’s specific needs and how these work in with their family and loved ones.
“When Noeleen’s health started to decline, we spoke about how we could accommodate them as a couple over at Peninsula Village, to ensure they could be adequately cared for, yet also close to one another with access to our range of onsite activities and support programs.
“We feel very fortunate to have Frank and Noeleen as part of our ever-growing community. You can tell that they both care for each other very much and Peninsula Villages hope they continue to enjoy their time with us.”