Residents strike gold at Eureka
EUREKA Retirement Village was half empty when Bill and Esther Wesley took over as managers in 2016.
"Gladstone is proving to be a challenge," Esther told The Observer in August 2016, only weeks after taking the reins of the New Auckland facility.
"I also think a lot of people don't think we exist."
There's now a waiting list to live at Eureka.
Eureka is the fifth village the couple have managed after stints in Rockhampton, Ballarat, Dubbo and Caloundra.
They have been in charge at Eureka for just over two years.
The couple, married for 42 years, owned and operated cafes on the Sunshine Coast before getting into retirement village management 12 years ago.
Mr Wesley put down the turnaround to hard work and a good reputation.
"If you're looking after your residents word gets around - all the carers, families, trades-people and taxi drivers - everyone knows so you get a good reputation from that," he said.
"Hospitals ring us up if we've got somebody needing something and they work with us also.
"Some of the care groups work with us as well."
Mrs Wesley added: "We feed them well, look after them well and word gets around."
The Wesleys have no plans on retiring soon, but wouldn't have to look far once that day arrives.
"We've got a few more years to go and then we might move in too," Mr Wesley joked.
"It'll be a nice change to have someone else doing the cooking and dishes."