Regis Kuluin volunteer Denis Hoffmann spotted a familiar face on his first visit to the Home. As he was shown around the leafy gardens, he was introduced to Regis Kuluin resident and keen gardener Ron Leng. Unable to put a name to the face he immediately recognised, Denis listened to Ron speak about his background when it finally dawned on him that they had met 30 years ago.

Ron, a professor at Armidale University, was the Project Leader for a dairy development project in India. At the same time, Denis was the Research Program Coordinator at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The pair visited and reviewed the project together several times over a 5-year period where they got to know each other. However, when Denis moved from ACIAR to a post with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in Bangkok, they lost touch and had not seen each other in 25 years.

Denis, a retired animal health specialist, moved to Buderim in 2021 to live with his daughter. To get to know his new community on the Sunshine Coast, Denis applied for the volunteer position where he would come into the Regis Kuluin to socialise with residents who may not have the same level of family support he enjoyed.

The pair shared a wonderful first moment reminiscing and catching up on each other’s lives. Denis and Ron are now close gardening buddies who catch up each Wednesday for a chat outdoors, recalling fantastic memories from the past.