Bringing Hawaii into the rooms of Barunga Village

Barunga Village residents love the range of music events held regularly.

The distance between Hawaii and Port Broughton has not stopped Barunga Village residents enjoying a concert performed at The Plaza at Pearl City – an aged care home – in Honolulu.

Barunga Village diversional therapist Darren Robinson said on New Year’s Eve he received an email from long-time friend and associate, Casey Narusawa, who is the activities director at The Plaza at Pearl City asking whether Barunga would like to take part in an international Skype concert with her facility.

“I, of course jumped at the opportunity,” Darren said. “So in the middle of January on a Friday morning we tuned in via Skype to listen to entertainer ‘Hank the Singing Dutchman’.

“Hank sung lots of old favourites including some very good Elvis Presley numbers and most of our residents agreed it would be fantastic to have Hank perform at Barunga if he was ever in our neighbourhood.”

To return the favour, Casey and her residents will join Barunga Village via Skype in March where Ronny Robinson and Eddy Mertens from Port Pirie will perform.

Casey said her residents loved interacting with the Barunga Village residents even though they are half a world away.

Barunga Village residents are now old hands at holding Skype concerts. In 2015 the Barunga Village Choir performed to The Plaza at Pearl City and to the Radius Fulton Care Centre in Dunedin as part of a three-way Skype concert. Since then there have been five international Skype concerts.

“The residents think it is just amazing what can be done with modern technology,” Darren said.

“We also use Skype on other occasions such as when two of our residents Gloria Lambert and Joan Gill speak to their pen friends in Ireland.”

Darren said Casey agrees that the international Skype concerts are very unique.

“Casey said she doesn’t know of any other facility that has done the same, so needless to say the residents at Barunga Village and The Plaza at Pearl City have every right to be very proud of themselves.”