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The Nelson Photo News




It's no fun being old and alone, especially if you're a woman and in bad health. Security, in the shape of a flat or home, a cheerful fire in cold weather, sympathetic neighbours and pleasant surroundings help provide a happy atmosphere for old folk. But sometimes the knowledge that they are now unable to cope with heavy work can cause depression and sorrow.

For the most part, the tenants of State Advances Corporation pensioners' flats in the Sovereign-Weka streets area are very happy with their lot in life. The flats are warm and comfortable and they have security of tenure. But they are extremely unhappy with the state of lawns and gardens that surround the flats. The occupants of these flats are mostly widows, many of them in their 70's and 80's, and because of their age they are unable to keep the grounds in order. Lawns and gardens have become badly overgrown and provide tenants with an extremely depressing outlook. Some are lucky – they have relatives who are able to carry out the heavier work in the gardens, but for the majority there is no one to whom to turn.

After interviewing several of them we spoke to an official of the corporation who assured us that their plight was known and that "in the near future" steps would be taken to carry out corrective work at the flats. It was anticipated, we were told, that a contract would then be let to keep the grounds tidy.

Unfortunately, this is in "the near future". Something needs to be done Now. Are any organisations (Jaycee, Lions, Round Tahie Rotary) interested in helping out?



The initial heavy work in the garden for this flat was done by relatives of the tenant.


No fun hanging out the washing when the grass is wet


Built on reclaimed land, the flats are showing signs of subsiding in places, and stones have come up through the lawns.


More weeds round the back (in our estimation the sections are far too big for pensioners to cope with).


Mrs Sally Sanderson, who has lived in a flat in Weka Street for 13 years, paid a man out of her meagre pension to dig her garden.