January 21, 2010

AUSTRALIA: Wheels of freedom

. PAKENHAM, Victoria / Dandenong Star / Older Persons / January 21, 2010 By Lia Bichel DANDENONG RSL member Thomas Doherty has a new sense of freedom. He was given a set of wheels last week. The 79-year-old ex-serviceman was given a scooter from the International Order of Old Bastards (IOOB) to aid his travel to the local shops, his family and relatives, or to the Dandenong RSL to socialise with friends. The IOOB is a charity organisation, which began more than 30 years ago. It provides assistance to people who are in need. Dandenong RSL aged care co-ordinator John Filmer recommended that the IOOB donate the scooter to Mr Doherty to help leave his house and see his wife, hospitalised with dementia. Mr Doherty’s wife passed away only a few days before he received the scooter, but Mr Filmer said the donation would still be beneficial. “It would have been a real blessing for him to have it while his wife was ill, but I know he will still love it,” Vets crusader John Filmer said. “It will allow him to stay mobile.” Mr Doherty’s daughter Liz MacTaggart said the gift was a morale booster for her father. “It gives him the freedom to get around the house. It will help him get on with life.” Mr Doherty was all smiles when he received his new mode of transportation. After cutting a few laps in the Dandenong RSL carpark, Mr Doherty thanked the IOOB and Mr Filmer. “It’s wonderful,” he said. “This will be a great help.” [rc] © 2008 Star News Group