Residents of The Royce: Meet Joe and Dot

January 21, 2021

Meet Joe and Dot Gray, one of the first couples to move into The Royce.

The Joe and Dot Gray story is a lovely one. Both from different locations in Australia, Dot was from Nyngan in Far Western Australia and met Joe from West Ryde when she came to Sydney as a Trainee Nurse in the late 60’s. They married in 1971 and settled in the Penrith area originally at Cambridge Park and eventually at Emu Plains. This was their home until they moved into The Royce.

Do you come from a big family?
Yes we both come from a family of 5.  We then had 5 children ourselves and now have 8 beautiful grandchildren.  We are very family orientated and have enjoyed welcoming everyone to our lovely new residence.

When did you retire?
Joe retired early in 2002 due to ill health after a fulfilling career as a carpenter, carriage builder & eventually a union official. During this time he also had 2 years of National Service in the Army but fortunately was not posted overseas. Following retirement, he has dabbled in some casual work & volunteering to keep himself busy.  I retired in 2016 after having spent the last 25 years working in a medical practice at Westmead.

Has there been a pivotal point in your life?
We have had many beautiful moments throughout our life however our greatest life changing moment came in 1985 when we were fortunate to win a substantial lottery prize. We were living in a small 3 bedroom home with 5 little children, Joe was working 2 jobs & I was working 3 nights a week. We were very content but suddenly life became a lot easier. We remain eternally grateful for our good fortune.

Can you tell us about some of the places you have traveled to?
We both enjoy travel and have enjoyed some very exciting overseas trips but now are looking forward to seeing more of our own country. Have yet to visit Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

What attracted you to The Royce?
A very good friend of ours told us about  The Royce when it was only a “thought bubble” & from that day on I think we were interested. We were wanting to downsize as when we had been on holidays and stayed in apartments it made us realise we could see ourselves doing it on a permanent basis. We were one of the early customers and it really was the friendship and expert guidance that helped us to decide our future.

How have you found the experience so far?
We moved in on August 21st, 2019 and it is hard to believe we have celebrated our 1st anniversary. Maurice Tulich once commented to me that his plan was to build a community, not just a block of apartments and that is exactly what has happened. We feel we belong to a very caring community and have made many new friendships. Even with the restrictions of Covid19 we never really felt isolated.

I was pleased earlier to be able to relocate my brother (who was in an Aged Care facility at Ryde) to The Manor. Even though visiting has been restricted because of Covid it is very comforting to me to know he is nearby.  This is another big plus for us as a result of the choice we made.

Do you have a favourite place to go in the evening?
We just love being close to Panthers and being able to enjoy the regular festivities in the resident’s bar just a short walk from our apartment.

What do you most love about living at The Royce?
Company of new friends, health care at your fingertips when needed, beautiful new home, and no more worries regarding the upkeep of a large family home. We can both use our spare time to continue traveling and playing our lawn bowls at Glenbrook Bowling Club without any worries in the world.