Former BHP employees embrace life at Hillside 

Brian Farmer was "well up the ladder" at BHP and "had all the good things that went with it".

The 92-year-old retired as a superintendent in mechanical maintenance after devoting 30 years to the steel company.

So it is fitting that he gets to call home the property once used as a showpiece for important visiting BHP executives.

The Figtree property was originally purchased by the Hoskins family and developed by BHP in the 1930s to provide guesthouses and a function centre for important visitors.

 Former BHP workers Brian Farmer (left) and Edgar Robinson. Picture: DAVE TEASE

Former BHP workers Brian Farmer (left) and Edgar Robinson. Picture: DAVE TEASE

Today, Hillside at Figtree is simply "a nice place to live".

"I'm very happy here, they are very accommodating," Mr Farmer said yesterday.

He was "beaten through the door" seven months ago by fellow resident Edgar Robinson, who also worked as a mechanic at BHP.

The pair never crossed paths but now share stories.

"We didn't know each other then, but now we're friends, this is our home."

The heritage building at Hillside was renovated in 2009 and started operating the following year as the Hillside at Figtree Aged Care Facility.

Mr Farmer and Mr Robinson like to sit together on the verandah and swap yarns about their days at BHP.

But there's plenty more to do too, with the facility boasting a cinema/media room, cafe, piano bar and spa.

Mr Robinson, 86, doesn't mind the odd computer game either, confessing he also spends lots of time on the internet.

"This is my new home, I'm happy," he said.


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