Sometimes a friendship is simply meant to be. New friends Lynn Roper and Mary Earnshaw clicked straight away when they met for the first time last year and quickly discovered a string of coincidences that confirmed their friendship was destined.
The pair had lived parallel lives, even working in neighbouring office buildings in Perth a decade earlier, before finally meeting 4,500 kilometres away at Pacific Paradise on the Sunshine Coast.
“It was fate. We got on really well from day one.
We live opposite each other, we both lived in Perth and even knew the same people in the 80s, we go to the same health club in Buderim – our paths must have criss-crossed dozens of times before we finally met,” Lynn said.
“We sat next to each other at a GemLife Christmas event last year and we liked each other straight away. We think alike, we even say the same things!” she laughed.
Mary wholeheartedly agrees, saying “We have lots of similarities. We laugh at the same things, we both have no kids, we both have an interest in dogs.”
Spookily, the friends learned they even share the same birthday!
Over the past several months, the women’s friendship has grown stronger. Lynn and Mary regularly walk to nearby Mudjimba Beach, go to the gym, aqua aerobics, stretch classes, babysit friends’ and neighbours’ dogs, and go to Bunnings together.
“All new homeowners love a trip to Bunnings,” joked Mary.
“We’re also getting competitive about who gets to look after people’s dogs,” laughed Lynn.
For Lynn and Mary, the friends enjoy each other’s company regularly, and are always up for new adventures and trying new things, while still living busy, independent lives of their own.
“We’re ‘out there’ kind of people, we’re social but we’re also very independent which is important. We’re great mates and look out for each other, which is exactly how it should be,” Mary said.
“At GemLife, you can have your privacy or be extremely social and join in with all the get-togethers,” she said.
“Some people think it might be ‘cliquey’ living in a gated community but in reality, there is a huge diversity of people who come from all walks of life and the environment is very friendly.”
Lynn, who was living at another over-50s resort in Bli Bli before buying at GemLife, added that she loved the lifestyle on offer.
“My husband and I are addicted. The social life is terrific. We have lovely neighbours who want to enjoy life and have fun, just like we do. Pacific Paradise is so close to everything – we have everything we could possibly want on our doorstep.”
When Mary made the decision to buy a home at GemLife Pacific Paradise, sceptical friends raised their eyebrows and said, “but it’s a retirement village!” or, when she explained it was an over-50s resort they said, “that’s just a fancy name for a retirement village!”.
“They had preconceived misconceptions about over-50s resorts, and I know people who’ve had bad experiences with retirement villages, especially financially with exit fees – they couldn’t afford to leave,” Mary said.
“When I looked into resorts, I thought there had to be a catch and went over the contract with a fine-tooth comb. There are no entry fees, exit fees, stamp duty – just the weekly site fee. The homes are bigger than expected and the quality of the builds is excellent – people are so surprised when they first see the resort in person,” she said.
“I now have a few friends who, after they saw what it is like here, have also bought homes at GemLife and are moving in!”