Long before Bevan Whitestyles moved into The Cairns Aged Care Plus Centre in Brisbane, his vibrant personality attracted the love and respect of people from all walks of life. While his memory may be fading due to a dementia diagnosis, his wife Vera, and the staff at The Cairns Aged Care Plus Centre, are determined to keep those memories alive. Vera says that while his memory has changed, the essence of who he is, is still very much the same. Below, Vera shares Bevan’s life story in her own words.

“Bevan was born in Maryborough, in the Fraser Coast region of Queensland on 21 March 1937 into a family with two brothers and one adopted sister.”

He started his apprenticeship in building at just 13 years old. As a young fella Bevan had a great love of motorbikes and has owned many different ones, including a Norton Featherbed, Matchless 500, Velocette, BSA Bantam, and many more.

Bevan loved being around all kinds of different people regardless of their background, and it was this love of people that led him toward God. He gave his life to God as a young man and has maintained his walk and love of God right up to the present time. His bible was his constant companion.

Bevan and I eventually married, and we had seven wonderful children. He owned several boats and went fishing and crabbing as often as possible. When he returned, he would put the crabs into one of the bathrooms and of course sometimes a crab or two would escape into the house, and the girls would scream out loudly. Bevan thought it was so funny and he would just stand there laughing and laughing.

At different times he owned two hardware shops and a fruit shop. At one stage he had 22 homes waiting for him and his employees to build. Bevan was a good builder and was very thorough in what he did. Bevandon Court in Kingston was named after him.

“Another love of his was cooking and one of his favourite dishes was spaghetti bolognese. Bevan named it “My famous spaghetti” and we put the recipe on Facebook. Someone in Italy sae it, tried it, and commented on how good it was!”

It was a very special recipe and it seemed to take him forever to make, but it was worth the wait. He used to make it in big batches and give a bowl of it to our neighbours too.

Bevan has always had a generous and helping spirit, and he would give so much of himself to everyone. This is why he was so loved. We know that this was God’s love in him. Bevan likes sport fishing, hiking,

camping, gardening, cooking, Christian gospel, country and western music, and some war movie DVD’s.

A blessing for me was that Bevan would (without fail) make me a cup of coffee every morning. I started to notice Bevan’s memory deteriorating when he would bring me a cup of water or milk instead of coffee.

Bevan was such a good dad and a great family man, and he spoilt me and our girls in such a way that it was unbelievable. Our holidays were always very special. We often travelled North and a few times to nearby islands. Once, we even managed to fit in a cruise which was wonderful. He often talked about going on another one, however that is unlikely now as he has started to get very tired. I know we are in God’s hands – He has been so good to us throughout this wonderful journey of life. It’s exciting to think about what’s next. This has been just a small snap shot of what has been our wonderful life together.