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Celebrating 50 Years: Warrah in the Eighties

Jun 20, 2019

Celebrating 50 Years: Warrah in the Eighties

Russell and Silke Carter were members of the Warrah community in the 1980’s. They share how the Warrah community and co-founder, Hannelor Kaltenbach impacted and shaped their life’s journey.

Way back in about 1983 I stumbled into Warrah. I’d been working (and living) at Morriset Hospital and felt the need for a change. I was greeted at Waratah by one of the Marx sisters, who put in a kind word about me to Hannelor. The next minute, I was doing the cooking and shopping and the meeting and greeting of anyone who dropped in. I have happy memories of the children who lived at Waratah… Richard, Lyndal, Paul, Luke, Robert, Rebecca… Warrah was at that time very much a community, volunteers came and went, and the staff hung out - some of us a bit too often up at the pub! Friendly people and pleasant times. Eventually, I bought a caravan and Hannelor was happy for me to park it up at Waaia. She even organised power to be connected. The years passed by when in 1987, a volunteer arrived that caught my eye and refused to leave! We married within a short time, and our son was born at Hornsby Hospital. Over 30 years later, Silke and I are still happily married, and our children are now adults.

Warrah was a place where people met and relationships formed, and out of that new beginnings were born. For Silke and me, the experience of Warrah had a lasting effect. In particular, it was Hannelor who patiently and quietly guided, who left the most significant impression. It was under her, I tell people, that I served my apprenticeship. Eventually, we left Warrah to live for a while in Germany. We then moved to New Zealand and had the opportunity to establish Hohepa Auckland. After more than two decades growing and managing Hohepa Auckland, life has now led us to other things, working in specialised fields such as autism and working with other communities. I think it very true to say that Hannelor and Warrah have created a ripple that has had a much broader impact on people in places few of us can imagine. And the ripple ripples on! Meanwhile, the caravan is a lasting reminder, at least until the chucks are done with it, of a time that has passed by. Is it still there in the paddock up at the farm? From here in Auckland, Silke, our family, and I congratulate Warrah, and we send our love to all of you on this extraordinary occasion and wish you all well for the many years ahead.

Russell and Silke Carter