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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Organ donors full of heart for seniors community

Del and Basil Wood have had a long association with the Carinity Wishart Gardens seniors community in Brisbane. 

Del’s mother, Mabel Grace, was one of the first residents of the aged care community and Del is a long-time volunteer there. 

Basil is a former chemist whose pharmacist supplied medication to Wishart Gardens and other Carinity aged care communities. 

Now, after having their name on the waiting list for more than 15 years, the Woods recently moved into the adjacent Wishart Gardens retirement village. As Del says: “If you wish hard, you get into Wishart”. 

Before moving into the retirement village, the Woods knew around 15 people who also live there. One fellow resident is their long-time friend, Jean Miller. 

Del and Jean have known each other for more than 50 years. They sang together in a Christian vocal trio called Celebration which performed more than 300 shows at aged care homes, retirement villages and prisons. 

The two friends are still performing together at chapel services – Del playing the organ and Jean on piano – instruments donated to Wishart Gardens aged care by the Woods. 

As part of downsizing in readiness for their move into their retirement villa, Del  and Basil decided to part with their Kawai grand piano and American-made Gulbransen Rialto organ. 

“There’s not many of this particular organ in Australia. All our children grew up  learning how to play the piano, so it’s had lots of use but it’s still going well,” Basil said.

“Somebody suggested why don’t we see if the aged care home would like to accept them as a gift, so other folks could enjoy them too and then also play  them while we’re here. 


Del Wood and Jean Miller sang together in a vocal trio called Celebration for 20  years.

The keyboards have a new home in the Wishart Gardens aged care pavilion, at which Del plays hymns at weekly chapel services. 

Carinity Wishart Gardens aged care Residential Manager, Solomon Shekede,  expressed his gratitude for the donated organ and piano and the Woods’  “commitment to fostering the arts and enhancing the worship experience” for residents. 

“These magnificent musical instruments will undoubtedly enhance our worship  services and community events, allowing us to create an even more uplifting  and spiritually enriching atmosphere,” Solomon said. 

“This thoughtful contribution will resonate through the halls of Carinity Wishart Gardens, bringing joy and inspiration to all who gather here. 

“The piano and organ will serve as a constant reminder of Basil and Del’s kindness and dedication to the spiritual well-being of our community.” 

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