GemLife, Living Well

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Cheers to the holiday season

Bars are places to relax, socialise, meet friends old and new, and, according to Australian research, improve your life because regulars at pubs or bars have broader friendship and support networks and identify more closely with their communities.

At each GemLife resort, the country club bars, which are run by resident volunteers, are no exception, forming a hub for fun and community connection.

GemLife Bribie Island Bar Manager Wayne Ferguson said the bar had become a central point for homeowners to socialise and unwind.

The bar, called Dux & Drakes thanks to its location overlooking Dux Lake, also sets the stage for many events organised by the social club with fun, themed day and evening soirees to bring everyone together.

“We have a lot of very creative people living here – they’re like professional party planners and have done some amazing decorations.”

Wayne has managed the bar at Bribie for nearly 18 months, drawing from experience gained helping at his uncle’s pub in Nambour when he was younger and a year working at a navy bar in Canberra.

“We serve wine, seven kinds of beer, and spirits like rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, and mixers. There’s not many bars where you can get a beer and a glass of wine for $5.50,” he said.

“We can also accommodate residents’ special requests if they have a favourite spirit they want to add to the stock.”

At GemLife Highfields’ bar, which had opened just before COVID-19 restrictions went into effect, residents are once again coming together for a social drink and a chat.

Kathy Schluter, one of five residents sharing the role of bar manager at Highfields, said since reopening, it had been great to see residents responding enthusiastically to the sessions.

“We’re looking forward to doing more, and maybe introducing a surprise happy hour too,” she said.

“Another nice thing we can do is open the doors onto the patio and sit outside for drinks which is really lovely when the weather is good. We’re just starting to hit our straps with the bar”.

Bars, pubs and taverns have brought people together for thousands of years, with the earliest known versions thought to have originated in Italy in the form of wine bars.

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