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NEWS DESK

Game of life deals Ben a good hand Stephen Taylor steve@baysidenews.com.au THE challenging card game of bridge has a special place in centenarian Ben Finkelstein’s life. “It’s my only major interest and I look forward to it every Monday and Thursday,” he said from his Patterson Lakes retirement village last week. Born on a Western Australian wheat farm 240 kilometres east of Perth on 16 June 1917, Mr Finkelstein celebrated his centenary with a lunch attended by friends and family, including his son Howard, down

from Queensland for the occasion, and daughters Cheryl and Joanne. His wife Ethel died of cancer in 1984 and it was around this time when the Aspendale man started playing bridge at Frankston Bridge Club and Patterson Lakes Community Centre. Both organisations put on afternoon teas for his birthday. Looking back over his century, Mr Finkelstein recalls coming to Melbourne from Perth in 1940 as a 23-year-old and joining Melbourne Harbour Trust. He completed an engineering course and, after a few months – and with the Second World War occupying everyone’s thoughts –

he decided to enlist. “I went to Melbourne Town Hall to sign up and was asked my profession,” he said. “When I told them I was an engineer they said I would be required to stay in Melbourne but that I could pick where I was deployed. It was a choice between Williamstown shipbuilding yards and Ordnance Factory Maribyrnong. “The ordnance factory manager was a Western Australian so off I went to join him and that’s where I spent the war.” After the conflict, with thousands of returning soldiers looking for work, jobs were scarce. Luckily, Mr Finkel-

stein’s old boss had opened an engineering business in Surry Hills. It had a contract with the Postmaster-General’s Department (PMG, forerunner of Telstra) servicing public phones, and so he began working there and stayed for 35 years. A short retirement followed in the late 1970s before Mr Finkelstein again joined friends, this time at a plastics injection moulding business in Richmond for 10 years. When it was sold he retired for good. After a short stint living with daughter Cheryl in Perth, he returned to Aspendale and took up bridge. “It’s a great game and you have fun mix-

Mental health treatment streamlined MENTAL health sufferers on the Mornington Peninsula now have access to a six bed psychiatric assessment and planning unit. The unit will streamline the time spent in the busy emergency department at Frankston Hospital. Peninsula Health supports up to 450 mental health patients at any one time with the demand for inpatient services expected to grow by 10 per cent over the next decade. The PAPU was opened on 26 June by Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke. Peninsula Health CEO Sue Williams said it was a “significant boost” to Peninsula Health’s mental health services. “The purposebuilt facility will receive mental health clients from the emergency department for up to 72 hours, adding much needed bed capacity within the mental health service,” Ms Williams said. The PAPU also creates an alternative to acute inpatient care, Peninsula Health’s operations director of mental health Sharon Sherwood said. She said mental health clients could be admitted to PAPU to receive faster access to specialist psychiatric assessment and short-term treatment. This would help them with their planning and partnering support arrangements for when the client back is back in the community after discharge. More than 90 people have been admitted to the PAPU since it started taking patients last month. The six-bed facility, next to the emergency department, is designed to incorporate natural light and therapeutic colours and furnishings. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness, call Peninsula Health’s Mental Health Triage Service any time on 1300 792 977.

Picture: Yanni

ing with a nice crowd,” he said. With age comes a balanced perspective on international affairs: “I don’t think we will end up in a tragic situation but it is always better to collaborate with other countries than to argue,” he said. “A lot will depend on how [US President Donald] Trump turns out. I’m not overly concerned as there are a lot of intelligent people behind him with the president being more of a mouthpiece.” Yes, the world has changed a lot, he mused. “There are lots of disturbing influences but, overall, it is still a marvellous place.”

‘No evidence’ of Legionnaires’ Disease at gym A FRANKSTON gym director said the Health Department had confirmed that it “appears unlikely” that a gymnasium’s spa was the source of a legionella outbreak reported last week. Core24’s Joe Russo said Friday he was disappointed that the health department had “implicated the good name of Core24 when at this point there is no direct evidence that any disease has been found in the club”. Mr Russo said that “at no stage was the spa in a state where a disease could have developed. All evidence is circumstantial and has no basis on fact.” He said the club’s first priority was to comply with the [Department of Health’s] process. “However, we would like to assure our members that we have the very best equipment and monitoring systems which comply with world’s best practice in our spa area.” The department had reported that two people who had attended the gym contracted Legionnaires Disease. Deputy chief health officer – communicable diseases, Dr Brett Sutton, advised “anyone who may have used the spa to be on the lookout for possible symptoms, which could develop over the next 10 days”. “Legionnaires disease causes flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, followed by respiratory problems and pneumonia often developing over three or four days,” she said. Mr Russo said the spa had been closed until test results were released this week. “The health department have now inspected the facility, plant room, pool testing records and have taken water samples,” he said. “The inspector was impressed with the advanced sanitation system we have in place. “We have super chlorinated the spa in line with the health departments request to disinfect the whole system.”

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3 July 2017

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3 July 2017  

Frankston Times 3 July 2017

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