Ken Thompson has been a Royal Freemason for 25 years and has just received a great honour from his fellow members. We find out why the RFBI have named Armidale’s newest aged care facility after him.
> How did the Royal Freemasons become involved in this project?
We have been involved in aged care in NSW for many years.
We have 21 aged care facilities throughout the state, including The New England Masonic Village up on Cookes Road, here in Armidale.
> Why has the RFBI built Ken Thompson Lodge?
It became apparent that Armidale had a need for a quality aged care facility. The RFBI was allocated 16 beds in a recent funding round, but we needed more, so we purchased Strathlea Nursing Home in order to obtain their bed licences as well.
This made our plan to open a bigger and better nursing home viable, hence, the opening of Ken Thompson Lodge.
> Are you having an official opening?
Yes, our opening day is on August 13. We have invited the Governor of NSW, Marie Bashir to officially open Ken Thompson Lodge.
> Do the Royal Freemasons also have a nursing home in Glenn Innes?
Yes, the Glenn Innes facility is called Glenwood Gardens. The Royal Freemasons were invited to get involved with the facilty because they were having a few difficulties, such as management and finance problems.
They were also finding it difficult to keep up to current accreditation standards. That’s all history now, because I am very pleased to tell you that last month Glenwood Gardens passed accreditation with flying colours.
> Describe the quality of Ken Thompson Lodge?
We believe that it’s equal to the world’s highest standards in aged care.
It has already been nominated in the Master Builders Association Newcastle – 2009 Excellence in Construction Awards in the category ‘Aged Care/Medium Density Developments over $12 million’.
> What type of care do you offer?
The RFBI is an organisation that helps people.
Ken Thompson Lodge has 60 aged care beds and has been purposely built to care for the ageing population of Armidale.
We try and give people the care that they need. We strive to keep our quality care equivalent to the world’s best.
We welcome all colours and creed.
> Why was the new facility named after you?
Well, I’m not really sure. You would need to ask Kevin Mortimer that question. All I can say is that I was absolutely dumbfounded when the request came in for it to carry my name.
I certainly feel highly honoured.
> Thank you Ken.