Gorgeous George has a name that’s hard to forget,
especially when you know the story behind it.
Gorgeous George is named after George Holdem, once a resident of Arvida’s Mayfair community in Christchurch. He was known by all as a ‘doer’, when George saw something that needed attention around the community, he got stuck in.
“I remember George as the pioneer of resident-led activities,” says Graeme Gordon, manager of Mayfair. “He started a tradition of resident involvement that continues today at all Arvida communities. George was a one-of-a-kind, can-do person that we all appreciated for his love of life and ability to inspire other residents to get involved. He was incredibly thoughtful, innovative, kind and an exceptional planner.”
Another George fan was Maria Scott-Multani, who today works as Arvida’s General Manager for Wellness and Care. “George was such a genuine person – always quick witted and full of fun.
I remember him showing me a gardening fork he was planning to put at the dining table for a resident who had been complaining about the etiquette of cutlery placement. George planned to swap the resident’s fork with the gardening fork to ‘bring him back down to earth!’ You couldn’t help but be cheerful around a man who never stopped trying to make others’ lives better with a laugh, an idea or an activity.”
In 2019, George was nominated for the ‘Excellence in Care Awards’, which are run by the New Zealand Aged Care Association. Here’s an excerpt from the award entry: “A born leader, George was quick to volunteer his time, energy and ideas when he moved into his new home at Mayfair village. His ability to unite people, build community and put plans into action have had a significant impact on the quality of life of people in Mayfair and the wider Arvida community.”
George died about a year ago and he’s sorely missed.
However, he’s left a legacy in the form of resident-led activity and community involvement
that gives Arvida communities a powerful point of difference.