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A Masonic Pride and Joy

14 February 24

Two Whiddon residents are into three figures and still going strong.

Today Whiddon Homes is simply known as ‘Whiddon’, but their philosophy remains the same – that ageing should be a rich and rewarding journey for everyone.

Founded by Freemasons, Whiddon has been caring for elderly people in regional, rural and remote communities across New South Wales, and more recently, Queensland, for over seventy years. The organisation has grown into a large and award-winning aged care provider.


It all started in 1923, when a small group of Freemasons began visiting elderly masons and their wives in their local communities to provide care and support to those in need. In 1947, Mrs Ethel Symonds donated 21 acres of land in Glenfield, in Sydney’s Macarthur Region. This land became the founding site of The Frank Whiddon Masonic Homes of NSW and so the journey began.


Their founding site, now known as The Whiddon Group Easton Park, began with a small number of cottages in 1948 and development continues today. In the 1970s, aged care homes were opened in Hornsby, Wingham and Kyogle, and in the 1980s and 1990s then grew even further with new homes in Belmont, Bathurst, Maclean, Grafton, Laurieton, Casino, Redhead, Largs and Narrabri. Throughout that period, they also opened a number of independent retirement living villages, from Temora in the Riverina, Adamstown and Hamilton in Newcastle, to Yamba in the Far North Coast.


And now Whiddon is home to Australia’s Oldest Man.


Making the national news was a resident of Whiddon’s Grafton residence Mr Ken Weeks, who recently celebrated his 110th birthday. He credited his longevity to a daily helping of baked beans. When Heinz – makers of the most famous baked beans – learned of this they presented him with a case of their product with a customised label showing Ken’s image. A lovely gesture.


But Ken is not the only Centenarian in the care of Whiddon. Mr Warwick Holcroft AO is 101 years old and lives in Whiddon’s Kelso retirement home.


And in his younger days, Warwick was a mason. He originally joined his father’s lodge at Bexley, but following the war he joined Bathurst Lodge after moving there.

Above - Warwick receives his 80 Year CPA certificate.


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