Pete is one of our most active residents here at Benevolent Living. At 58 years young Peter still volunteers at the Rockhampton Zoo, helps Gavin with the gardening and maintenance at Benevolent and still manages to go bowling with his friend Mark every Wednesday morning!
Peter James Langdon was born with Down Syndrome in the 1960’s, the doctor told his parents he would not live past 21. But at 58 he has sure showed him!
Pete was born into a big family. He has 11 siblings, including 6 brothers and 4 sisters. He grew up in West Rockhampton with his family and has many fond memories of playing with his brothers when they were younger. Of course, with 7 boys there was bond to be some war stories. His brother Patrick recalls the time “Pete threw me into a fish tank because I changed the channel while he was watching his favourite show, Young Talent Time.” “Our father just looked at me while I was picking up the fish on the ground and said, well you won’t do that again.”
Pete’s brothers have always been his best friends and he speaks of them warmly. He still spends every Saturday with his brother Patrick working. He often says, “Patrick is my best brother,” even after the fish tank debacle!
Even though Peter was born with Down Syndrome he was never treated any differently and had a very normal childhood with his family. He attended the Rockhampton Special School during his younger years.
Pete’s father, Des, was the Gardener at the Special School and after Pete finished his education, he went on to work with him. That’s where his love of gardening began. After his father retired Pete went to work at the JM Kelly group helping with gardening and landscaping.
Peter has always been active, whether it be gardening or helping his late mother look after the house. Audrey and Pete lived together his whole life until they moved into Benevolent together in March this year. His purpose was always to take care of the house, garden and his mother. He did everything for her, and she did everything for him, they had a very special bond.
Peter has also been lucky enough to travel with his family. He has been on a cruise with his sister Sue, he’s also been to Broome, New Zealand, America and as far north as Tully to visit his brother Mick. He will often tell the story of when he mowed his brother’s big lawn, “on his sit mower” [ride on mower]. Pete now helps Gavin mow the lawn at Benevolent with his very own ‘sit mower’.
Pete hasn’t let his age slow him down. He is still up at 5am every day to have a “cold shower,” which he says gets him ready for the day. Pete then helps the staff with chores and the gardening around his house, Mardy McKean. He also attends Benny Boys every month and loves to work with his hands.
You can see Pete working most days in Mardy and on Fridays with Gavin.