John from Darwin first came to our attention via his long time friend Ian Gatenby, MOL Brisbane; they had played rugby league together as young men in Tumut NSW and then John in NSW Country Group’s 9 and 13. In recent months John has undergone two operations at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney for cancer in his facial area and is currently undergoing daily radiation treatment 5 days a week, which will go through until just before the New Year, then he will return to Darwin and his Family.
He has been residing in Waverley and Wellbeing Officers Warren Thompson and Ken Vessey, have been in regular contact with John during his stay in Sydney and on the 16 December 2019 they took him out to the Alexandra Erskineville Bowling Club for Chinese lunch at Billy’s Kitchen. On the drive from St.Vincent’s Hospital to Erskineville, Ken gave John a briefing on the Club’s history, it’s generous support to the local community and the friendliness of the Staff and Executive.
Upon our arrival at the Club, we were warmly welcomed by Club President, Barry Carroll and John very quickly recognised the Club was as described on the drive to there. Barry invited us to have lunch and we thoroughly enjoyed the dishes served to us. John remarked during the stay “he just wished he lived closer”.
After a couple of hours it was time to head back to Waverley after a most enjoyable time. We will take John there again in the future, if he visits Sydney again.
John is a truly remarkable man who has taken on his illness/recovery with much courage; he is inspirational with his attitude as he awaits being able to go home to Darwin soon.
We thank President Carroll for his friendship and hospitality shown to us on the visit.
We wish John all the very best for a speedy recovery to good health.