A tour by the Catholic Care of the Aged (CCA) Men’s Group of the Marine Centre at Newman Senior Technical College was a success.
The tour was hosted by college students and staff and triggered many happy memories for those who attended on September. 6
The group, welcomed by Marine Studies Coordinator Warren Bridge, were accompanied by students and staff members Kristy Kowaguichi and Jack Cheyne on a guided tour of the various tanks of fish and marine life.
Sister Anne Hannigan, Pastoral Care Coordinator for CCA, said the visit was an important opportunity for young and old to come together to learn from each other and share experiences.
“Visits, like this one, foster relationships and conversations between the generations, and in the long run that’s what keeps our community caring and connected,” said Sr Anne.
“For the men, this visit was a chance to reminisce about good times, but it quickly became evident, as information and stories were exchanged with the students, that wonderful new memories were being created for both.”
“In residential aged care men are often outnumbered by women, which can create a sense of isolation for them.
“That’s why the Men’s Group was added to the CCA pastoral care program in Port Macquarie.”
The Men’s Group gathers for a catch up every Monday morning at Emmaus, as well as enjoying an outing once a month to a location decided upon by the men.
Steve Jenkins, also from the CCA Pastoral Care Team, said the men’s decision to visit the Marine Centre was understandable as a number of the men in the group have a connection with the ocean through swimming, boating and recreational fishing.
“The men were genuinely engaged throughout the visit as the sights, sounds and smells of the Marine Centre brought back happy times for them,” he said
“I heard many a conversation begin with ‘I remember when…’ as fishing tales, tall and short, were shared.”
“It was wonderful to hear the blokes sharing their life experiences with the students, and with one another.”
After the tour, the men came away feeling invigorated and energised.
Some of their comments included “This visit has brought back such great positive memories for me,” and “I can’t believe how lucky these kids are to have such a great facility and great teachers to learn from.”
Before leaving, the group enjoyed lunch in the Food Project Café at Newman College prepared by Newman College hospitality students, under the guidance of teacher, Helen Bagust.
The experience was enriching for everyone involved – the men, Pastoral Care volunteers and staff of CCA who visited and the students and staff of Newman Senior Technical College who made the experience such a positive one for them.