Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, April 30, 2022


Every month we have a dinner in the community centre of our independent living retirement village. The residents have a dinner committee, which organise the dinners and guest speakers. This year we have two teams of catering students from Rochedale High School and the team that was on duty this night also had musicians as well. So when we arrived we could get a drink from the bar, mingle and listen to dinner music.

There are between 70 and 100 people attending these dinners. We have a visiting chef and helper. They prepare alternate drop meals. We used to have a main course and a dessert but the format has changed to an entree and main instead. This is so the students can start cleaning the kitchen earlier so that they can get home on time and there is less for the residents to wash up. Each month residents of a different street are asked to wash up. We have two industrial dish washers that wash in 90 seconds. So it's not so hard. 

For the entree we had salmon mousse or vegetable pate with salad. The main course was deconstructed steak and kidney pie or chicken and leek pie. It wasn't one of our best meals but it was okay.

Our Guest Speaker was one of our residents, Robin Kleinschmidt. He is a member of the Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller and he told us about its 1000 year history. He is a Knight of Justice and wore his robes as he entered the room.

Students entertain us with singing and music.

Managing Director, Chiou See Anderson's mother had flown from Singapore to spend time with her daughter. The  first time since the pandemic started. Ann in the blue dress in front organises the dinners at age 82.

She explains to Robin where to walk through the tables.

Ann helps Robin disrobe before the talk.

Our Managing director, Chiou See, stands with the students and chefs while they were being thanked by our residents' chairman. 


  1. The food is not so important, it's just the event, to be with all the others, listen to the music and have fun If I want a nice meal I choose another place, unfortunately people especially the seniors stay at table at least for 3 to 4 h which I could do when I was young but not now anymore, my bottom hurts !
    In families on special occasions they sit for 5 h at table and eat ! Especially in France, Italy, Belgium, and the other Southern countries.

  2. Hello,
    This dinner sound interesting and fun. It is great that the students help out with your community dinners.
    Take care, enjoy your day and the new week ahead.

  3. good idea to help the students go home sooner. you are blessed to have them to cook and serve. that is a lot of people to feed. as always everyone looks like they are having a blast

  4. It's good to see that these dinners are so well attended as a lot of work must go into the organising of them.

  5. I love how your special dinners involve the efforts and talents of young people. Live music is always a treat!

  6. What an interesting dinner sounds like a good time

  7. Agree with you on the meal, wouldn't go down well with me but I expect something different is expected each time a gathering is held, so it's ok to have change in food. Everyone looks happy.

  8. Everyone looks as if they enjoyed the evening :)

    All the best Jan

  9. It sounds like so much fun and very organized too. Enjoyed your photos as always Diane, felt like I was almost there :)

  10. Another delightful evening for all of you. I really love that the students are involved and they can get to know what the senior community is really like.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. These dinners are great -- so good the way they get all of you together. I suppose they try to plan different meals to appeal to different people -- that wouldn't have been my favorite either, but at our age we all know that dinner will happen the next day (etc.) .... actually, I should say "should Know" because there are a few neighbors here who complain bitterly if everything isn't perfect. Like you, I say " it was good enough" and besides there's always next time."

  12. Your dinners always look like a good time for socialization and entertainment, Diane. I would tend to agree with you that the menu did not sound appealing to me.

  13. I have visited a family member who lived in a village but I remain in my own home . It looks like a huge gathering . I suppose one becomes familiar with some folks. I used to go to do crafts at a ,iCal centre before Covid and now my vision restricts me.