Sharing the difference Ryder-Cheshire makes

November 16, 2022 BY

Memories of Kevin Clayfield show the value of local housing project & hands-on support


Cheshire home resident Kevin ‘KC’ Clayfield is being remembered as someone who was blessed with a cheeky grin and wonderful sense of fun and optimism, who will be an ongoing inspiration to all who met him.

Kevin was born in December 1964, the youngest of 10 children of Dorothy and Lancelot Clayfield of Glenroy in the Penola district.

A large family and caring parents created a sympathetic and caring environment for a child with Down Syndrome.

His mother insisted he be integrated into all aspects of family activities. As the second child with a disability in the family, Mrs Clayfield was also keen that Kevin received the best of education.

This included completing a TAFE course which led to him being employed as an apprentice and ultimately assistant gardener at Boandik Lodge.

He initially boarded in Mount Gambier, but with the encouragement of his ever-confident mother, bought a house of his own in 1993.

In a great personal achievement, KC spent 27 years at Boandik Lodge, but in 2013 lost interest in gardening and went to work at Bedford Industries.

In time health challenges meant he could no longer live independently, so returned to the family property, Oakbanks Farm, for a period before moving into Jarvis Wing at Penola Hospital.

The opening of Cheshire enabled KC to realise his wish to return to Mount Gambier.

“The fantastic facility combined with the selfless and loving care provided by the Home Care Plus team has played a significant role in Kevin’s final years and in particular the last challenging eight months,” said KC’s brother Greg Clayfield, who delivered the eulogy at Kevin’s funeral service and who serves on the Board of the Ryder-Cheshire Mount Gambier Home Foundation.

“The 20 or so staff provided remarkable 24/7 love and care in a fun-filled environment.”

KC was an AFL fan and ardent Collingwood supporter, but at the local level came to be embraced by the North Gambier family and was for a time its water bottle manager and part of the inner sanctum particularly post-game.

Kevin was also interested in greyhound racing and was a registered post-race catcher at Tara Raceway.

He was also a capable 10 pin bowler, eight-ball player and word puzzle exponent.