8 August 2023

Barry is doing his favourite things again, with a little help from his support worker Monique.

Image: Barry at the bowling alley smiling and holding a ball.

Barry’s life has been marked by many achievements. Barry set up Ford dealerships all over Queensland, held many 10-pin bowling titles, and even holds a Guinness Book of Records title for dismantling and rebuilding a motor!

Now in his 80s, Barry recalls how he took a break from working at Ford when he bought land in Flinders View, built his house, and landscaped his garden. He later went back to Ford, working in the service department, which is where he achieved his Guinness Book recognition.

After he retired, Barry was part of a ‘Boys’ Group’ that met every fortnight at Yamanto pub for lunch. As the group’s get-togethers became less and less frequent and eventually stopped, so did Barry’s social outlet.

More recently, Barry had a stroke, which led him to spend even more time at home. He rarely left his house, only going outside for necessary appointments.

Through Barry’s care plan, Monique, a Life Without Barriers' support worker, comes in to help Barry with cleaning and domestic duties. When she was tidying his room, Monique came across some bowling balls and a large number of trophies.

“She wanted to know more, and I told Monique the bowling balls had names - Bazza and Elizabeth." Said Barry.

"Bazza is the nickname my mates gave me and Elizabeth was my mother-in-law’s name. I told her about being a 10-pin bowling champion - but the last time I went bowling was 30 years ago!”

One of Barry’s care plan goals was to get back into the community, Monique helps him to get out of the house, whether it is going out for lunch or coffee to doing activities.

“I asked Barry if he would like to go bowling again. His beaming smile said it all – he was so delighted with the suggestion,” shared Monique.

Image: Barry bowling, a green ball is on the move!

Monique arranged for them to go bowling one Friday afternoon. When she went to pick him up, Barry looked dapper in grey slacks and a brown jacket – and of course, Bazza and Elizabeth came along too.

At the bowling alley, Barry handled the ball with flair and bowled with strength and accuracy. He had a great time and socialised with families who were there.

“It felt great to be bowling - it took me back in time. I was surprised I still had it in me. My memories all came back when I first held the ball. I played well, and I talked and laughed with a mother and her two children. They were giving me encouragement; the young children were telling me how well I was doing." said Barry.

"My favourite thing about the day is just being out of the house and doing something I used to love.”

Barry’s daughter Lisa could not believe her eyes when she was sent photos and videos of the day.

“That is so cool. That's made my year seeing that. He still has his famous curve ball!” she said.

“Life after my stroke and getting older has been hard - feeling alone, not wanting to be here anymore, and not being able to go out and do the things I used to." Barry shared.

"The last time I saw a movie at a cinema was nearly 20 years ago. I remember seeing a sniper movie, but it was so long ago. I would be happy to see any movie again.”

Barry and Monique now have plans to see a movie together, when one comes on that Barry wants to see. They have also added fishing to their list once the weather warms up, and of course, more trips to the bowling alley.

“Life Without Barriers has been great. Good support. I don't feel alone anymore or not wanting to be here." Said Barry.

I am always ready and dressed on Friday as I get to go out of the house and not sit around waiting for the birds to come for a feed.

"Life is starting to feel good, and I am looking forward to doing the things I have not done in a long time,” said Barry.

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