Financial pressure makes takeover best option for facility
IT STARTED out in 1976 as a "home for the fit", and gradually transformed into a highly-sophisticated aged care facility.
But as board numbers dwindle and financial pressures increase, the Carramar Home for Senior Citizens is set to open a new chapter under the management of Churches of Christ Care. Carramar board chairwoman Barbara Marsden said there had been much deliberation about the change of management, but board members believed the not-for-profit organisation was better equipped to steer Carramar into the future.
"We have tried in vain to recruit more board members and association members to Carramar," Mrs Marsden said.
"Also the financial capability of the organisation, while in good shape to date, will not be able to stretch to build the second stage of Villa Carramar or the desired retirement village.
"There were questions and some sadness ... but in the main, the group was very understanding of the need to progress with a much larger and more capable group."
BOARD member Bill Bonner, who has been involved with Carramar since day one, said he grappled with the decision for some time before accepting it was the best option.
"It is quite sad to see this new stage of Carramar taking place, but we are faced with two realities," he said.
"It will almost certainly be a better place for our elderly people now and we have found it difficult, nigh impossible, to complete the next stages of Carramar on our own.
"If we didn't take this decision, within four or five years Carramar would be in some difficulty.
"While it's sad, I accept we have no other option. We were not forced into it but it will be for the betterment of the community."
Mr Bonner remembers the 1976 opening of the facility, which he said was originally designed to be a place where older people could live in town while the younger family members stayed on the farm.
"As people aged, we started to put in more care and now it's a highly sophisticated business," he said.
The retired pharmacist acknowledged the community's efforts to get Carramar off the ground decades ago, when plenty of local groups and individuals donated generously to set up the community facility.
"The donations people gave in the past have been well-used," he said.
"They've contributed to making Carramar the successful enterprise it is now."
Mr Bonner was adamant the aged care home would remain a community-driven organisation.
"There's no way Churches of Christ will come in and ignore the Stanthorpe community," he said.
"It's going to remain part of the Stanthorpe community with community involvement."
Mrs Marsden reiterated these sentiments, saying staff and residents could expect "business as usual" after the official sign-off in February.
For more information on Churches of Christ Care's plans for Carramar, see Thursday's Border Post.