Our association with Edith Duly Nursing Home started some twenty years ago when we placed a very dear old friend of ours in the Best Wing of the Home.
Arthur French, better known as 'Frenchie' spent several years in the Best Wing accompanied by his hilarious Red Cross Nurse Jester. Arthur's wife Kitty had died a few months previously, and their lovely Downie daughter Marjory had died two weeks before that in the amazing John Wakeford Villa at Ingutsheni Hospital.
Kitty prayed daily to the Good Lord that she would outlive Marjie by one only hour and the Good Lord almost kept his promise!!
HeeHoo and I were asked to join the Board of Trustees of the Edith Duly Nursing Home and Rick became Chairman soon after that, at a time when zimbabwe's economy was running riot and the Zimbabwe dollar was trading at 4 trillion to one!!
Getting back to Frenchie's nurse Jester, she had a wicked and delightful sense of humor and she had previously nursed Marjorie at the John Wakeford Villa too.
Fund raising at Edith Duly was never easy, as there are so many deserving welfare establishments in Bulawayo, but I feel proud that I have done my part, as for twenty years now, the proceeds of advertising of the Morning Mirror have gone towards the Home.
On the Board of Trustees at that time were several brilliant men and women, amongst them the Late Dr Peter Pretorius and Willie Anderson of the Anderson Trust and Executors.
The Matron at Edith Duly at that time was Matron Brewster MBE, a formidable and daunting but invaluable presence in the Home. Edith Duly has always drawn the very best and the current Matron.... is undoubtedly made from the same mould as Matron Brewster.
Edith Duly has this year completed 58 years of service to the Bulawayo Community and over these revered 58 years, countless hundreds of Bulawayo citizens have been awarded the warmth and love offered by this fine establishment. You only have to take a walk around the gardens of the Home, to see what sort of love and care has been taken of our patients.
Established in 1959, the Home is open to persons of all ages who are in need of assisted living and nursing care, this includes Alzheimer's and dementia; stroke and accident victims as well as persons who are incapable of caring for themselves for whatever reason. It remains Bulawayo's only registered private Nursing Home and it is a subscribed member of AHFOZ whereby residents on certain medical aid covers enjoy some return on fees.
The home has had its share of colorful characters!! Beautiful, elegant Mrs Olive Penhale with the skin of a film star!! Below are some thumbnail sketches of some of our residents, all beloved by the devoted staff of the Edith duly Nursing Home.
VALARIE SCHULTZ -
Valerie suffers early Alzheimer's and can be difficult and cheeky, but none the less she is a lovely lady to care for. Having grown up in Port Elizabeth, she is fluent in Xhosa and thus a marvel to the staff. She keeps active by reading and doing cross words and she joins in occupational therapy sessions to do jigsaw puzzles. She inspires other residents in OT to do their best in the knitting club and sewing circle.
Her room is decorated with framed cross stitch pictures(done by herself) and antique ornaments. She holds dear a large picture frame that shows photos of the beautifully manicured gardens of her previous home. She speaks fondly of her early years on the family farm and of her late husband whom she describes as a 'charmer'!
CHERUPILLIL RAVI R.I.P.
Mr Ravi was a gentleman who kept us all on our toes! Always chatty until his last months when depression took hold, Mr Ravi loved to talk about his early years in Kerala, India and his profession as a lawyer. He kept a folder of articles written for the Government Gazette and would often show them off.
Mr Ravi enjoyed music - his taste ranging from Jim Reeves to Abba, Frank Sinatra to Beethoven and he would lend his ipod to others so that they too could enjoy. He was an avid reader who enjoyed his library of books about Hitler and Lenin and National Geographic magazines.
Mr & Mrs Harry joined our Home in 2009 and together, enjoyed an en-suite room in Beit Wing . Regrettably his wife passed on in Feb 2011. He grew up in Bulawayo and spent some years in Kezi on his grandparent's homestead. He married in the 60's and was blessed with 6 daughters! In his younger years he played string instruments in a band.
Whilst with us his sight has deteriorated through the onset of Glaucoma, but he often reminisces of the wonderful walks he would take with his wife around the gardens of the Home and he will tell everyone about the good food he enjoys; even taking sadza a couple of times a week!
Of special note is the way Mr Harry uses his beloved red knee rug (given to him by his late wife) as a reference point in his room. It sits on his bed and thus guides him in the direction of the door or opposite, the hand basin.
His feelings about being here ' I have no regrets. I am happy and the nurses are around me all the time. I can sit on the veranda in the fresh air and I can smell the lovely flowers. I will be 90 in October and Edith Duly is my last mile to walk. I am very comfortable and happy here'
Although under the age of 50 when she came to us, Helen had suffered a stroke and was totally dependent on care. She also had limited vision due to cataracts. An intense and aggressive physical therapy regime was commenced and this resulted in better hand/eye co-ordination, weight transfer and stability. The Home arranged for Helen to have pro-bono cataract removal surgery and this allowed Helen improved independent living. Helen enjoyed using her personal laptop and she participated well in OT sessions. In June 2016 she was accompanied by our Administrator to the UK where she now lives close to her brother.
VERONICA MOSSOP R.I.P
Ms Mossop was a genteel lady who had been a teacher for most of her life. Her last professional position was that of Deputy Headmistress at Oriel Girls High in Harare. Rather reserved in character, Ms Mossop did not always wish to participate in group activities but rather spent her time reading or watching television - she had a passion for historical romantic novels. She was a highly intelligent lady and never ceased to lambast those in government whom she deemed to be unworthy of their position!
EDNA 'IBBY' IBBOTSON R.I.P - Our glorious centurion who made it to her 101st birthday.
Ibby was an active and friendly lady and a great inspiration to all around her. She was independent almost to the last and never suffered from a loss of memory or self esteem. Her 100th birthday party was held in the gardens of the Home and was supported by friends and staff - even a Chronicle reporter was on site. Her birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II was proudly displayed for all to admire.
AMELIA VAN BEEK
Mrs Van Beek will be 95 on 1st April and is without doubt our most inspiring resident. Active and determined, she carries out all her own ablutions and insists on laundering her own intimates. She does all her own cleaning of her room and keeps everything neat and tidy. All this, despite severe arthritis on her joints! She has a number of friends within the complex and enjoys daily visits with them.
Mrs Van Beek loves to share stories of her youth and of how she lost her husband during the country's Liberation War.
Mrs Rosemary Hughes (not sure of her age)
Resident in CVV. Needed high nursing care. A retired school teacher who developed early dementia . Very slim lady with a lovely face and red hair. Used to be timid but could smile and spoke in monosyllables. Walked when aided by a nurse aide holding her hand. When her hand was let go she could run out of the door very fast. Generally she spent most of her time sitting in a chair in the veranda. Her husband visited once a week, brought her fruit and one sweet. She was aware of him when she seemingly loved him in her own way but never smiled nor spoke to him. They just held hands. When the husband came he would wipe her face and feed her with yogurt. When he kissed her bid her farewell she would try and get up, stare at him through the window and burst into laughter as if to say thank you for going, clapped her hands and clasped her small teddy bear.
Mother and Daughter: Anita and Veronica Dekok
Veronica Dekok may have been 61 years old. Very slim with dark hair. Her face was ash white due to her congenital disablement. Her legs were very thin and almost close together. She had a bad sight from the beginning but this was corrected by voluntary doctors who came to Zimbabwe from America years ago. She could clearly see now. Had outburst of temper tantrums at times. She could bully her mother and very verbally aggressive to staff. She had an affinity for men, hence a request was made for her to go on birth control pills. Thank God her mother noticed this and would always report if she intended to be naughty.
Her behaviour was very difficult. Only a few people could handle her and at times made her mother very tired as she tried to control her. When staff tried to reprimand her , her mum would be very unhappy and sulk. A very helpful girl to her mum who is paralysed and in a wheel chair. She always wheeled her around. You would not dare do that chair when she would be around.
She slept poorly and screamed a lot at night which required that she be on night medication. She always wanted to be in her mother's bed, as old as she was. Needed total care as she could not do it herself.
Veronica liked going out on organised trips because then she would be dressed up in lovely dresses which she loved. Loved dancing and would not stop until the record ended or musicians folded their equipment.
Her mother could not be taken away from her. She was very possessive.
Recently she had learned to colour on drawn up pictures and could find suitable colours for her work.
If a nursing home like Edith Duly was not available, Veronica would have ended up in a psychiatric hospital due to her unpredictable behaviour.
The Home has an extraordinarily devoted nursing and administrative staff.
Our Administrator - Leila Hunt works tirelessly for the good of the home and would love to hear from you.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
Please warn readers about what seems to be a new scam, this time POST OFFICE.
When posting anything above the short letter and you have it weighed please check the weight and the rates. The scale at Hillside Post office is wrong by a factor of over 100%, while the guy at the desk in Bulawayo Main tried to charge me a rate 500% greater than the official one on the schedule. Ask, no better still DEMAND to see the schedule and weigh your envelope at home first. They tried to hit me for US10 for what was supposed to be US2. The fact that the stamp is just an alphabetical letter (Z or R or E or A) means that you could be asked to pay more than its real face value. As with all these scams in BOTH private and public sector I have written a detailed, point by point account and copied to local bosses and higher up the food chain.
COURT ACTION AGAINST ROADBLOCKS
Road Users Association will restore motorists CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, through a CLASS ACTION challenge in the Constitutional Court. Stop saying 'enough is enough' and get behind RUA, by:
APPLICANTS - Have you been treated badly by ZRP Join the many motorists who have said 'enough is enough'! An RUA legal advisor will assist you prepare your affidavit. Email: email@example.com
FUNDING - RUA will ensure the legal costs of all applicants in the CLASS ACTION are met. Play a part and DONATE any amount you are comfortable with, now! ECOCASH Acc. name: Big Sky RUA Account, Merchant acc. no.: 49035, Acc. no.: 0773 072 910. EcoCash payments will receive a confirmation text. Feel free to mail notification of an EcoCash payment to firstname.lastname@example.org For STANBIC and CABS options, see www.rua.org.zw.
Enquiries: Councillor Rusty Markham (C: 0772-278-460). Advocate Tichaona Tembani (C: 0772-447-559). David Coltart, Webb, Low & Barry, Bulawayo. email@example.com