Residents of Ryman Healthcare’s John Flynn Retirement Village in Melbourne have learned about its namesake in a visit by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

80 residents, along with staff and friends, got the chance to explore an actual RFDS plane fuselage and hear about John Flynn, who founded the RFDS in 1928. The tour included a cockpit with virtual flight controls, as well as communications, oxygen, stretchers, and suction.

One resident, Barbara James, said the visit reminded her of her years as a nurse.

“I trained at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in the 1960s and the RFDS used to fly in a lot of patients from the bush, mums and babies, people who had been gouged by bulls, all sorts.

“I never met John Flynn, but he was always being talked about because if the service hadn’t been available a lot of people would’ve died. So, for me it’s quite amazing living in a village named after John Flynn, I’m very proud,” she said.

Ryman names its retirement villages after “exceptional people”, including John Flynn, Bert Newton, Raelene Boyle, and Dame Nellie Melba.