NSW Governor the Hon. Margaret Beazley opens RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village

H.E. the Hon. Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, and RFBI chairman David Adams unveiling the plaque at the RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village. Picture supplied.
H.E. the Hon. Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, and RFBI chairman David Adams unveiling the plaque at the RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village. Picture supplied.

The Governor of New South Wales, H.E. the Hon. Margaret Beazley AC QC, visited Glen Innes on Wednesday to open the refurbished RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village and visit nearby fire-affected areas.

"Glen Innes and surrounding communities have been - as your Mayor Carol Sparks has so rightly put it - through bushfire hell," Ms Beazley said. "A community that has been as devastated as yours has needs and deserves every bit of support it can get.

"What this season's 'bushfire hell' has revealed to us in ways that are too stark and tragic to fully articulate is that we are all vulnerable - and the typically vulnerable, the aged, the immobile, are more vulnerable. That consciousness of and response to vulnerability reflects what we are as a community."

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The Royal Freemasons' Benevolent Institution, Ms Beazley said, had responded to the vulnerability of the aged since it was founded 140 years ago.

Dignitaries at the official opening of the RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village.

Dignitaries at the official opening of the RFBI Glen Innes Masonic Village.

"The opening of the refurbished Glen Innes Masonic Village, which has seen the implementation of the new Aged Care Standards, is a continuum of that care," the Governor said.

The recent refurbishments have added 11 new rooms, a new spa, activities centre and reception area, and a café. All existing rooms were also refreshed.

Bore water for garden maintenance and onsite solar electricity systems to reduce its carbon footprint had made the Village environmentally sustainable, general manager Benard Beatty said.

RFBI were approached by the Department of Health and Ageing in 2008 to take over Glenwood Gardens, the original aged care service which was under sanction and threat of closure.

"Since we took over the service," RFBI chairman David Adams said, "RFBI has invested $12 million in the Village, and we are very proud of this beautiful home we have created, and the wonderful care we provide to our residents."

Frank Price (RFBI CEO), Douglas James (RFBI board director), H.E. Margaret Beazley, David Adams (RFBI chairman), Peter Ditzell (RFBI board director).

Frank Price (RFBI CEO), Douglas James (RFBI board director), H.E. Margaret Beazley, David Adams (RFBI chairman), Peter Ditzell (RFBI board director).

RFBI, Ms Beazley said, could hold its head high at a time when media coverage and a Royal Commission had revealed inadequate to bad treatment of residents in many aged care homes.

The care provider supports more than 2500 older people across NSW and the ACT. The organisation was awarded the 2019 Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) Provider of the Year Award for the whole of Australia, while the Australian Financial Review BOSS 2019 list ranked it one of the most innovative companies in the country.

"Its care of its residents and the standard of its facilities reflects its underlying philosophy of active assistance where there is a need, particularly where those who are in need are poor or otherwise in distress," Ms Beazley said.

Mayor Sparks, deputy mayor Dianne Newman, council general manager Craig Bennett, staff, residents, and families attended the ceremony.

The Governor and Dennis Wilson will also visit Tenterfield and Grafton this week.