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Sharing life stories gives insight into residents

Sharing life stories gives insight into residents

They say everyone has a story to tell and at Arvida Waimea Plains, resident Jim Aitken recently shared his life with fellow neighbours.

Covering notable moments such as his birth year of 1939 in Windsor as World War Two began, Jim also shared his love of mussel farming, being a vigneron, and his lifelong passion for helping others.

The 83 year old British-born resident spoke of how proud he was when his father (pictured) received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services in the Parachute Regiment. Jim also remembered going to school in an army truck and how he enjoyed the street party to celebrate Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).

“I was five at the time and remember everyone was so happy at the party. People told stories and wore funny hats. We were all so full of hope.”

After working for several summer seasons at Butlins Holiday Camps, Jim had a successful career in medicine before his move to New Zealand in 1973 with his wife and four children.

As a keen boatie, Nelson was the perfect spot for Jim to reside as he provided his medical skill in a small General Practice, at the end of Tahuna Beach, where he stayed for 23 years.

Once a month after a special morning tea, a Waimea Plains resident can volunteer to share where they came from and what events have shaped their life.

“Emigrating with my family to New Zealand was the best and bravest thing I ever did. I am proud to now be a New Zealand citizen and I love being a Waimea Plains resident. I did leave a lot of my story out because there was lots to tell, but I enjoyed sharing with everyone,” Jim says.