Record donation transforms Millicent aged care space

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Record donation transforms Millicent aged care space

The largest-ever Millicent Hospital bequest of $150,000 has come from the estate of Mount Burr resident Andrew Zander.

It has funded a major makeover of the common room at the 60-bed Sheoak Lodge aged care facility.

Mr Zander was a Sheoak Lodge resident prior to his death at the age of 73 in 2017.

The upgraded common room has been renamed the Zander Function Centre in his honour and was officially opened at a ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

It was declared open by Millicent Health Advisory Council presiding member Dr Kevin McGrath and attended by Mr Zander’s family, friends and past workmates.

Also in attendance were other HAC members, Sheoak Lodge residents and staff, media and Limestone Coast Local Health Network board chairman Grant King.

Dr McGrath said the Zander bequest had created a happy and fun place for enjoyment.

“Families will be able to come here and create memories,” Dr McGrath said.

Mr Zander was a lifelong bachelor and had outlived his parents and four siblings.

Mount Burr resident Wayne Alcock is a cousin to Mr Zander and spent much of his early life with him.

He recalled his time living and working on the Alcock soldier settler property on the Penola Road.

“I was an only child and circumstances in the family brought Andrew and some of his siblings to live with us,” Mr Alcock said.

“My late mother was a Zander and a sister to Andrew’s father.

“He was a good worker on our farm before he went to work at the Mount Burr Mill.

“He had a nickname for me and it was Oigle.”

Another member of his extended family at the ceremony was Wilma Moore, now of Millicent.

“Andrew loved country music and reading Phantom comics,’” Ms Moore said.

“He was amusing, good fun and kind-hearted.”

Jim Seymour worked at the Mount Burr Mill for 34 years and he was a workmate of Mr Zander for much of that time.

“Andrew was a loyal friend, took pride in his work and mixed well,” he said.

The name for the common room was collectively chosen by the Sheoak Lodge residents, families, staff and the Millicent Health Advisory Council via a voting system.

The Zander Function Centre is a space which is designed to be used by families to come together and celebrate special occasions and gatherings.

The dining room features a hand-built table made from Mount Burr cypress pine.

This is particularly special as Mr Zander was well known in the Mount Burr community and supported the Mount Burr United Football Club for decades in his role as the scoreboard operator in all weather.

He was made a life member of the Mozzies and his ashes were scattered around the scoreboard in the opening game of the 2018 season.

There is a framed photograph from the 1990s showing Mr Zander manning the scoreboard when his team booted 44 goals against Tarpeena.

Another Mount Burr connection in the Zander Function Room is the artwork from the students at the town’s primary school.

As part of the common room refurbishment, a new kitchen was installed with an accessible layout that supports wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.

New flooring and lighting have been installed, the blinds have been replaced and new dining tables and chairs were purchased.

The updated technology in the Zander Function Centre includes a new state of the art TV and surround sound system.

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