It’s the middle of Summer and blistering hot in Kingaroy, but Percy, 89, shows no signs of slowing down as he potters happily in his backyard.
He was a dairy farmer in his earlier years. He’s cared for up to 99 cattle at one time and worked the land to cultivate their feed. He tanned cow hides using wattle bark and made his own saddles. Dressed in his work trousers and long-sleeved work shirt, his connection to the land is obvious.
“Farming was my life’s work,” said Percy.
“I loved the sunshine and the breeze and having something to do – I still enjoy it. I’ve always lived an active life in the outdoors”.
Percy and his wife Merle worked a large farm near Cooyar, north of Toowoomba, before moving to Booie on Barkers Creek. They raised five children along with their cattle. They were there for 18 years before a doctor recommended they sell up for health reasons.
“We found this land here in Kingaroy and loved it so much we relocated our house,” said Percy pointing to the solid three-bedroom worker’s cottage. “We’ve got 4,929 square metres,” he says proudly and laughs as he counts his six or seven sheds
He describes the care shown by Centacare support workers as wonderful. “On Monday, Wednesday and Friday they help Merle with showering and on Tuesday morning they help with cleaning,” he says.
Percy and his support worker Patricia have a laugh and chat as they hang the washing together. Percy sweeps the floor and Patricia follows after him with the mop. They work in the garden together and Percy pulls a big, juicy carrot from the earth. There are also full-sized pineapples ready for harvest.
The sheds are full of things that are important to Percy – his ride-on lawn mower and the tools and equipment he needs for his leather work, which he still does to this day.
“It’s peaceful here and the neighbours are friendly and like to have a chat when we meet,” he says. “It’s very pleasant living here”.
We know that home is where your heart is and a helping hand can keep you enjoying it for many years to come. Our support workers, tradespeople and handymen are friendly, down to earth and hardworking and will tackle the tasks you’re finding difficult and support you to keep doing the things you can. Find out more about support available at home.