Long-time friends share a love of community

Posted December 21, 2021

Graeme English and Rodney ‘Rocket’ Howe have been friends since Graeme moved into Oakdale Lodge 40 years ago. Rodney has lived at The Lodge for over 50 years. He was only 23 years old when he moved in as one of the very first residents. In December Rodney turned 75 years old. Graeme was 69 in November.

‘We’re best friends,’ they say, as they laugh and talk about Rodney’s birthday party. Rodney was hoping his nephew, who lives in Victoria, would make it for his big day. Unfortunately, due to COVID, this wasn’t possible. Thankfully, Graeme and Rodney’s other friends at The Lodge made it a party to remember, with dinner and a few beers at a local pub.

The two friends have always enjoyed being active in their community. The days of playing a friendly footy match may be gone but they still enjoy seeing live footy games, Big-Bash cricket, or taking a trip out for lunch with friends and family. Wrest Point Hotel Casino is a favourite – Graeme says the cheesecake is the best, but Rodney likes the chocolate mousse.

Giving back to their community is a central theme in Graeme and Rodney’s friendship. Over the years they have raised money during Mo-vember, cooked meals for Bethlehem house (which provides accommodation and support to homeless men in Hobart), and Graeme helps out at the Cambridge Primary school canteen, once a week. The school even surprised Graeme for his recent birthday, ‘I got a muffin with a candle!’ he exclaimed.

Graham English 69 bday Renee Woodleigh