Updates from the Ryman community

Nellie Melba

Construction team's baby boom

Written by Margot Taylor
on December 19, 2019

The construction team responsible for the mammoth task of building the beautiful Nellie Melba Retirement Village have been so busy they could be forgiven for not having time to build much else.

But, with 32 babies born to staff members in the past 20 months, it is evident the team is part of not only a building boom, but a baby boom too.

The Hi-Viz clad dads range in age from their twenties, to self-confessed 60-year-old “grandfather of the baby dads”, Gatekeeper, Dennis Frazer.

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Dennis became a first-time dad to son Zedden when he was 59-years-old.

Now his tot is 13-months-old, Dennis says becoming a dad is the “best thing” that has ever happened to him.

“I’ve been engaged four times, I’ve traveled the world, and I’ve finally become a dad.”

“I really, honestly, didn’t think it would be this hard though.”

With plans to have another baby next year, Dennis says he won’t be able to retire until he is 90.

That doesn’t bother him though because the number of babies arriving means traditional smoko chat has changed a bit, and it is easy to pick up parenting tips, he says.

“It’s funny when you get all of the guys together talking about baby things, talking about nappy changes.

“We are learning from each other as we go along.”

Sergiy Shavurskyy, father to 20-month-old Timothy, says he loved knowing his son was always eagerly awaiting his return from work.

“He’s a very active boy, always smiling, always happy, he’s great,” Sergiy says.

Regional Construction Manager Travis Cocks, who was the project manager on the Nellie Melba build until earlier this year, was surprised when he learned how many babies had been born to staff members working on the job.

“There must be something in the smoko,” Travis quipped.

And, like all good managers, he contributed to the team’s output when he and wife, Naomi, welcomed daughter Elle to their family in July 2018.

“In all seriousness, though, it is really cool.

“It’s a really close team so it’s the kind of thing that everyone shares and delights in.

“There’s definitely a few fatherhood war stories being shared amongst the lads, which is great.

“That’s the thing with becoming a parent; it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, you’re all in the same boat and that brings guys closer together.”

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