Our much-loved resident, the late John Bull, passed recently at the age of 78. He was at Willows for 2 and a half years, and in that time, he became a wonderful resident who always socialised, bringing his charisma and charm to the lounge and activities sessions. This earned him lots of popularity points among residents and staff from both Chestnut and Oak units, where he used to stay.

We recently received the beautiful bench, which was paid for in part by donations from those at Willows, and by John’s son Matthew.

There was a ceremony opening of the bench, and resident ambassadors Peggy and Iris, and resident Marion chose to impart a moving speech before cutting the ribbon and welcoming the bench into Willows’ heart and home.

Resident ambassador Peggy read the speech, reminiscing on John with the group, “John was a very cheeky, lovable man who enjoyed socialising, especially with the ladies”. She went on to say, “I will now pass the scissors over to officially open the memorial bench, where we hope you spend as much valuable time to sit and remember all the good memories that you have with John.”

The incredibly sweet words were met with warm applause before Marion cut the first ribbon, and Iris cut the second, officially unsealing the bench for use.

In memory of John, activities coordinator Sheree Lickfold said that “he would often spend time alone in a room full of ladies socialising, and he would always appreciate seeing his son who often visited, bringing snacks for John to enjoy and share among other residents.”

The bench will be a wonderful part of the Willows history, being used and enjoyed by residents and staff across the home, while remembering John long into the future.