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Royal wedding prompts reminiscing at Karori home

Residents Audrey Hayes and Merle Lewthwaite admire each other’s wedding outfits at Enliven’s Huntleigh Home in Karori.

While the royal wedding has incited much fun and frivolity this month, it’s also been a source of meaningful connection and bonding for many of the community’s elders.

Residents, families and staff at Karori’s Huntleigh Home have been relishing the opportunity to swap stories about their own wedding days.

“We were married at St James Anglican Church in Lower Hutt in 1960, before moving out to near Totara Park, where we stayed for decades. It rained all day, but that didn’t bother me much as they say that’s good luck!” recalls resident Audrey Hayes.

Audrey says the royal nuptials recently prompted her to look through her old belongings for traces of her own wedding day.

“I actually managed to find some of my old wedding accessories like my veil and headpiece, which I didn’t even know I had here.

“My daughter wore my headpiece on her wedding day too, so that was pretty special to discover,” she recounts.

Recreation team leader Annelize Steyn says special occasions like these often provide great opportunities for staff to open up conversations with elders and learn more about their lives.

“We love learning about what stirs the hearts of the residents here and events like the royal wedding provide us, as staff, with a fun and wonderful way to do that.

“Although the event itself may be fleeting, the memories we share and the bonds we make as a result last much longer and make such a difference to the life and energy of the home,” she says.

Huntleigh Home follows Enliven’s elder-centred philosophy, which places special emphasis on the importance of connecting with elders as people and ensuring they enjoy opportunities for companionship and community engagement. To learn more, visit or call 04 464 2020.