Ageless spread of season’s cheer

The festive season is a special time to connect, and students from St Michael’s Primary School at Nelson Bay, and residents from Regis Port Stephens and Harbourside Haven nursing homes, recently did just that when they shared an inspiring intergenerational interaction.

The St Michael’s students invited the nursing home residents to their end-of-year concert rehearsal on 26 November and serenaded the seniors with Christmas cheer.

Scones, generously donated by Woolworths, and tea were waiting on arrival for the nursing home residents and instantly made them feel welcome. 

The students at St Michael’s have been enthusiastically rehearsing a Christmas rendition of The Wizard of Oz to play for the residents as a prelude to their final performance.

When they took to the stage, they certainly impressed the “mature” audience who couldn’t help but smile, laugh and sing along with the students.

St Michael’s Principal, Helen Bourne said it is important for the school to be connected with the wider community in which it serves.

“We decided to invite the Nursing homes to our performance” she said. “We normally sing for them at Easter and Christmas at the homes but this was a chance for them to visit us and for us to show them hospitality.”

One Regis resident, Barbara Tarry, said that in her lifetime as a teacher and headmistress, she had not experienced a program of this manner as impressive as the one St Michael’s delivered.

“It was a wonderful idea,” she said. “I enjoyed the day very much. The children were delightful. They did a great job.”

At the conclusion of the play the energy that shone through both the students and residents was truly uplifting and it was hard to deny the success of the intergenerational initiative.

“They were all happy, we were happy, and we all joined together. It was terrific,” said one Harbourside Haven resident. “We would like another one.”

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Brittany Gonzalez Image
Brittany Gonzalez

Brittany Gonzalez is Communications Co-ordinator in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.