Twenty-five years ago, Junee’s Cooinda Court was opened by then Member for Wagga, Wal Fife.
In celebrating the milestone, Mr Fife returned to Junee joining a host of foundation committee members, residents and Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson.
The celebration follows a push by Cooinda Court to raise the final $100,000 to complete a fire sprinkler retrofit.
Junee’s Robyn McGregor was Cooinda Court’s second supervisor and an original staff member.
“It’s a proud moment - a lot of people worked hard to get Cooinda Court to where it is,” Ms McGregor said.
The aged care hostel started with just 13 units in 1991 and expanded a few years later to 22.
“Cooinda is very important, it’s a middle step, the next best thing to home. It’s better than heading to the hospital or nursing home for years,” Ms McGregor said.
“It keeps locals in touch so they don’t leave Junee and they have a home-like environment with their friends.”
Bob Smith was the first secretary of the management committee.
“(Cooinda Court) is successful because of the co-operation of many organisations who wanted to make it successful,” Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said Junee badly needed an aged hostel when it first opened.
He credited the foundation of the hostel to community support, a grant from the federal government and another from the Masonic Lodge – with Junee Shire Council matching the grant from the lodge.
Acting president of the management committee Pam Halliburton said she could remember the fundraising efforts more than 25 years ago.
“I know it was very important to the people of Junee to build this wonderful facility,” she said.
Mr Fife credited the community and good management with supporting the aged care hostel.
“The three tiers of government have played their role and the local community is playing its role,” Mr Fife said.
“It’s the office bearers who run this place who bring it all together.”
Meanwhile, Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson said everyone was so happy each time she visited.
“It’s an indicator of wonderful staff and wonderful facility.”