JUST GRAND: Bill Mann with his sister Gwynn Barr, who also lives at Illoura.
JUST GRAND: Bill Mann with his sister Gwynn Barr, who also lives at Illoura. Julia Baker

Illoura Village residents are having a grand old time

A BUMPER barley crop back in 1983 meant Hopeland property owner Bill Mann had enough extra cash in his wallet that year to buy himself a grand piano.

Almost 35 years later, Mr Mann is now living at Illoura Village and so is his much loved instrument - upon selling his home and his belongings he decided to donated it to the aged care facility.

"A grand piano was something I always had an ambition for in life... some fellas have a special car but one thing I wanted was a grand because I love music,” Mr Mann said.

The 88-year-old has a talent for singing but never learnt to play the instrument. However he said it was nice to be able to move his prized possession with him and that he hoped members of the community would visit Illoura to play for the residents.

"I'm hoping some of the men and women around town who can play well will come and play it from time to time and do a bit of a recital.”

Residential manager Shirlee Nichols said Mr Mann's donation was "pretty special”.

"What it means for us is that there is lots of opportunity for people to come in and play the piano for our residents,” she said.

"I'm hoping it will bring the community in a bit more: so piano teachers, choir groups, music students. We welcome people who want to come and play for the residents, they will love it and I'm sure Bill will to.”


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