With Christmas Day just around the corner, it appears that residents at Bernard Sunley, the residential, nursing and dementia care home managed by Charity, Friends of the Elderly, could give Santa a run for his money, as they have been sharing stories of their exciting and varied international travels.
“We all know that Santa manages to visit everywhere on Christmas Eve. His route doesn’t change as he wouldn’t want to miss anyone who is on the Nice List,” said Andy Cumper, the Registered Manager at Bernard Sunley. “Santa’s Christmas Eve flight first visits the South Pacific, then moves to New Zealand and Australia. The Reindeer then take him up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then on to East and West Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico finishing in Central and South America.
“In the run up to the Festive Season, some of our residents have been reminiscing about their favourite holiday destinations, city breaks, international cuisines and worldwide travels – and we’re sure they could give Santa a few travel tips.”
97-year-old resident Brian Moore is extremely well-travelled. “I loved to travel and have been fortunate enough to visit so many wonderful places,” said Brian. “My favourite city has to be Rome; I’ve been there at least a dozen times. There are just so many fascinating sites and so much history. I also loved France as I was an avid Wine Collector and the French, in my opinion, definitely produce the best.
“However, my most memorable holiday was when I visited Bergen on the South West coast of Norway. It’s such a beautiful part of the world, surrounded by fjords and mountains, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest. I travelled around the Fjords on a boat and, I have to say, the breakfasts were amazing. There were plates and plates of the most delicious, fresh smoked salmon – I’d never seen such a thing before,” Brian added.
Another resident, 97-year-old Pamela Kaine, believes that New York City was her best holiday destination by far. “I loved to travel and have been lucky enough to visit so many places throughout the world,” said Pamela. “The one that really sticks out for me the most is when I visited New York. I love all of America, but New York took the biscuit – or cookie as I suppose the Americans would say.
“I went up to the top of The Empire State Building and took a boat trip to see The Statue of Liberty and then, of course, there was the fantastic shopping – Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks of Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman – there were so many wonderful stores and shops, I lost count. I just love the American accent too, especially Clark Gable’s,” Pamela added.
87-year-old Valerie Carter, who has been a resident at Bernard Sunley since July 2022 added: “My favourite holiday destination was Jersey as it holds such wonderful memories for me. It’s where my Husband and I spent our honeymoon back in July 1964. It was beautiful, we spent two weeks in the southern part of the island and instead of flying there, we decided to go by boat as we thought that would be rather romantic.
“Back in the 70s, package holidays began to boom and we took our family on holidays to Spain and Portugal,” continued Val. “I quite enjoyed a cheeky glass or two of Sangria. However, one place I have never been to is Italy, but my best friend of over 70 years – Celia – was Italian. I’d often be invited to family gatherings and really enjoyed the different types of pasta dishes Celia’s Mother cooked, everything was always so freshly prepared and I just love the Italian accent, it makes everything sound so much better.”
81-year-old resident, Robert ‘Bob’ Davies who has lived at Bernard Sunley since April 2022 has travelled quite a bit, but mainly throughout the UK. “My favourite holiday abroad was back in 1999 when I went to Cyprus with a group of friends. We stayed in Paphos on the South West coast of the island in a great hotel called The Theofano Hotel. It was in a good location, not far from the centre of town and close to all the historical sites such as the Paphos Ethnographic Museum and Agios Lambrianos Rock-Cut Tomb. I loved the beaches and bars, it was such a lively place,” Bob said.
Anthony ‘Tony’ Brentall who has been a resident at the care home since June 2021 has also visited Jersey like Valerie, but a poignant memory was when he visited Munich after the war. “I wanted to go there as that was where my older brother was posted during World War II,” explained Tony.
Tony actually lived in Vancouver, Canada for about 20 years after moving there to be closer his step-daughter. “My partner and I loved it there,” said Tony. “We visited Niagara Falls; the three vast waterfalls are spectacular. The astounding display of water flow at Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and American Falls has an average of 2,400,000 to 3,150,000 gallons of water falls per minute. This is enough to make it the 8th Wonder of the World.”
“Our residents are total Globe Trotters and have visited or lived in some amazing places. If Santa needs any help navigating on Christmas Eve, I’m sure they’d be more than willing to help and give him some advice,” concluded Andy.