Remembering our Heroes Day

We remember Lionel Watts, who worked tirelessly to ensure that people with a disability live a great life, and the many heroes of House with No Steps (now Aruma) who follow in his footsteps.

April 13, 2017

The event held at Summerland House Farm, was an occasion to share stories of Lionel by those who knew him, and hear lesser known tales of a great man who worked tirelessly to ensure that people with a disability live a great life, free of obstacles.

We honoured our Partners in Dignity– the kind individuals who plan for the future by leaving us a gift in their Will. Their thoughtfulness will ensure that Lionel’s dream can remain a reality for many years to come.

We paid tribute to our most recent Benefactors, those of who will forever be remembered in our ‘Book of Remembrance’. Laura Henschke spoke about three loving individuals, the late Louisa Blom, the late Victor Rudling and the late Teuntje (‘Tony’) Mieschke. Their inspiring stories were shared with the crowd to remind everyone that while these people were not the Kerry Packers of the world, they saw that by leaving a gift in their Will they were able to have a positive effect on others’ lives.

Another generous and longstanding supporter, David Lindsay, spoke about his reasons for being so charitable. He said that he “did not simply want to be remembered as someone who came, lived and left this planet.” David viewed donating to Summerland House Farm as his opportunity to make a difference. He felt he could really improve the lives of others, benefit the local community, and make his impact more powerful in the process.

Stuart MacDonald, a supported employee in the museum, told people that Summerland House Farm gives him a sense of purpose, and makes him feel he can live with dignity, something which he believes that “everybody is entitled to.”

Lionel’s wife Dorothy Watts and daughter Nicole Watts were in attendance on the day. They thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations, with Dorothy thanking everyone for the beautiful memories they shared of her late husband. Several key members of the community joined the pair, including the Ballina Mayor David Wright. Employees at the Farm also came along to enjoy the festivities.

A beautiful Morning Tea was put on by the Summerland House Farm café staff, including favourites from their renowned High Tea: miniature cheesecakes, apple pies, scones with jam and cream, and finger sandwiches and quiches.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the generosity we receive from our supporters. Our loving Benefactors allow us to continue our Mission to create inclusive communities which respect, value and empower all people with a disability.

A gift in your Will can have a profound influence in the lives of people with a disability. It is only fitting that we continue to honour and respect the special heroes who have done so and those who continue to generously support us. Thank you for giving us a brighter future and allowing us to continue our pioneer Lionel’s visionary dream!

Find out more about leaving House with No Steps (now Aruma) a gift in your Will