BIG DAY: Kevin Coomber celebrated his 85th birthday alongside wife Angela, 'Little' Jimmy and residents at the Eureka Retirement Village.
BIG DAY: Kevin Coomber celebrated his 85th birthday alongside wife Angela, 'Little' Jimmy and residents at the Eureka Retirement Village. Matt Taylor GLA140718KEVI

First birthday of new chapter in Kevin's life

THEY say life is what you make it and this rings true for Kevin and Angela Coomber.

Married for 59 years and having lived on Calliope River Rd for 24 years, circumstances changed last November.

Kevin and Angela both suffered falls within three days of each other, which turned their lives upside down.

After almost a quarter of a century living at the same place, Kevin went straight to Eureka Retirement Village after being discharged from Gladstone Hospital and Angela followed her husband to the New Auckland facility a short time later.

"It was very difficult at the start. Out there you've got room to move - I had shetland ponies and used to get up and feed them in the morning. You go and mow a bit of paddock for them and it was all good exercise,” Kevin said.

"Coming from there to here was like putting a cockatoo in cage.

"Now I take my dog Jimmy for walks up and down the footpath here.”

While it was a difficult adjustment for Kevin, Angela quickly adapted to the retirement village lifestyle.

"It's marvellous and such a wonderful place,” Angela said.

"You've got your independence, but you're also being looked after and you know you're safe.”

Kevin Coomber blows the candle out on his 85th birthday cake.
Kevin Coomber blows the candle out on his 85th birthday cake. Matt Taylor GLA140718KEVI

Kevin turned 85 on Sunday with Eureka managers Bill and Esther Wesley baking a special cake for the occasion.

He spent his working life as a truck driver, constantly on the road, but made time to play drums and make guitars.

You won't find Kevin beating the drums these days, but he'd give them a bash if he could.

"I want to get a cassette and put half a dozen country and western songs like Slim Dusty, also the Bee Gees and ABBA and play their music with the drums at the same time,” he said.

"I've been playing drums since I was seven when Dad brought me drums and I was in an orchestra for six years but I had to leave because shift work got in the way.”

While life has changed for the Coombers, they're doing their best with the cards dealt to them.

"I want to keep going until I catch Dad - he was 98 when he died so I'm going to go up that ladder,” Kevin said.



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