The Senior Citizen Newsletter


PO Box 530, Mutare, Zimbabwe

Telephone : (02020) 65320/64577

Email :


It’s  been a while since you received a copy of our Senior Citizen Newsletter.  Various gremlins and events are responsible for this but we hope to make this a regular publication so that we can keep you updated on life at the Trust. We hope you enjoy this edition and whilst some of the stories may seem a little out of date we thought you would like to catch up on some of the more important issues.  ‘Til next time.’


Our much loved and respected Matron, Bernadette Gurupira retired in August 2019 after 43 service to EHT.  At her retirement farewell this is what the Administrator, Lindy Botha,  had to say : Sr Bernadette Gurupira is a qualified nursing sister and midwife.  She trained at Harare Hospital for her general nursing certificate and completed her mid-wifery training at Mpilo Hospital.  Thereafter she moved to Gweru Hospital and after a 2 year stint eventually joined EHT.  I can almost guarantee that her midwifery skills have not been needed at EHT!! Bernadette actually joined EHT in 1975 but then al- most immediately went on maternity leave so officially she started in 1976 as a nursing sister in C Scheme. She considered leaving at some stage to become a community nurse but fortunately for us she changed her mind and stayed on with EHT.  At the time that Bernadette joined EHT, Jane Jones was the Matron and Sr Christine Rutherford was second in command.  Dates are a bit sketchy but Bernadette was at some point promoted to work with Sr Rutherford in the office which was mainly an administrative role.  She was based in the office that the Administrator currently occupies at Murambi Garden Clinic. When Jane Jones retired in2000, Bernadette was promoted to Matron, a position she has held since then.

I suppose we knew this day had to come but this is a particularly sad time for EHT.  For me personally Bernadette has been this motherly figure who offered sage advice.  Whilst I was getting to grips with the administrative work, I knew that the residents were in good hands. I believe we have had a very good working relationship based on mutual respect.  I can honestly say I have never heard her raise her voice although the staff may argue that point!  If something needed to be done you always knew you could rely on Bernadette. Her stand out qualities are her quiet, calm demeanour. Having said that though, Matron always ran a tight ship.  I believe she was fair and reasonable with the staff who also knew not to cross the line!  Bernadette always had the residents, staff and EHT foremost in her mind and avoided doing anything that would prejudice the company in any way.

Frail Care has an excellent reputation in this community and it is largely due to the way Matron has man- aged staff and residents. There are numerous members of the Mutare community who have had family pass through EHT who will testify to the love and compassion afforded their relatives over the years.

Sr Gurupira pictured after completing 40 years if service

To Bernadette I would like to say, you have been  a committed and dedicated member of staff for 43 years.  We are poorer by your departure but richer for your contribution to this establishment.  You have led by example al- ways and we will be eternally grateful for the foundations you have laid.  We wish you well in your retirement and good health always.  Please come and visit often!

The four staff members pictured above between them represented more than 160 years service. Each staff member having served more than 40 years with EHT.  Sr Gurupira as we have re- ported has retired but the two men, Aron Chikwanda (left) and Nicholas Chisamba (right) both still work for EHT. Tragically our much loved Housekeeper, Esther Makweche passed away after a short illness in June 2019.  She is still fondly remembered and missed by us all.

Staff and residents turned out to say goodbye to Sr Gurupira and wish her well


Sr Hope Mahere  takes over the reins as our new Matron. She was born in Karoi, the middle daughter of a family of 6 girls! Her parents (Mum was a nurse and Father a land developer) moved around a bit so Hope was ultimately schooled in Rusape and Marondera  and then completed her nursing training at the Harare School of Nursing.  She is the mother of 4 children, 3 girls and a boy with a set of twins in the mix.

Hope has over 26 years of nursing experience.  She has worked in different capacities in the Public, Private and NGO sectors all across the country.  She is proud to have been a member of the team that was responsible for training staff and implementing  the Blue Star Health Care Network all across the country. Hope  is inspired by her mother and  children and says her core values are honesty, hard work, open communication and spirituality.  In her free time she enjoys watching movies , walking and playing with her grandson.

We are delighted to welcome Hope to the EHT fam- ily and have every confidence in her abilities to do the appointment justice.

Dedication of Geddie Memorial Garden

8 November 2020 saw us holding our Remembrance Service in the St Basils Chapel.  The service was well attended and was followed by the dedication of the Geddie Memorial Garden. Alec and June Geddie were resident at Strickland Cottages and both passed away in 2017.  The family have kindly arranged the do- nation of funds to build this memorial in honor of them both.  A facility which will give families a restful place to lay ashes of their loved ones.

Pictured are Chloe Cawood, Pat Nott, Des Becker, Sally Becker, Toby Mickelthwait and Laurin Cawood. Laurin is the niece of Alec ad June Geddie and we were delighted to have her and her daughter here for the official dedication.  Our grateful thanks however must
go to Des and Toby for all their efforts on the construction side and to Sally and Pat who were responsible for the gardens.

A facility which will give families a restful place to lay ashes of their loved ones.

Eastern Highlands Trust

Strickland Lodge is situated in secure park-like surroundings in the quiet avenues of Mutare and adjacent to the Hillside Golf Course.  This is the home of our ‘B’ Scheme and Frail Care.  Balanced meals are provided in the communal dining room and a laundry service is provided.  Other amenities include a comfortable lounge with TV and Jetmaster fireplace, a very comprehensive library and an intimate chapel where Sunday services are conducted on a regular basis.  A 14 seater bus transports residents to the shops and is also used for outings.  The Frail Care Unit is under the 24 hour supervision of Matron and her staff of nurses and attendants.  Matron also ex- tends her nursing to ‘B’ Scheme  and cottage residents.  An active committee serves to support the Administrator and assists in the social life of the residents and fund raising.  One bedroomed retirement cottages are situated in three locations.  Units are available on a variety of schemes and enquiries are always welcome.

Strickland Lodge Residential Care

Home and Frail Care Murambi Cottages, Strickland Cottages and Park Cottages

29  George Silundika Road



Phone: +263 2020 65320 /64577



Seven tips for safer senior driving :

   Get fit and stay fit.  Exercise for 15 to 20 minutes each day.

    Get regular eye tests to allow for early detection of possible problems.

   Make sure your car best suits your current needs.

    Adapt your driving to avoid journeys that cause you stress or discomfort.

   Reflect on your driving, learn from your mistakes and near misses.  Don’t pretend they are not happening!

    Plan your journeys to avoid using the roads at really busy times and build in plenty of  breaks on longer journeys.

    Listen to the thoughts of  family members and friends.  If they express concern about your driving, its because they care about you staying safe.

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