Dennis Ring’s determined spirit was forged through trials in his early life, like having to wear leg irons as a teenager after developing serious bone decaying illness, osteomyelitis.
He became the self-described Forrest Gump of Collingwood Technical School and, unable to play much sport, took up table tennis.
The colourful character has thrived throughout a career from fashion to real estate, his success underpinned by a knack for sales and marketing.
When Dennis first came to Beaudesert in 2014, he was instantly enamoured.
“I’ve fallen in love with Beaudesert. When you get to the hill at Woodhill Hall, the whole world just opens up and you can see the Great Dividing Range in the far distance,” he said.
“It’s such a friendly place and just spectacular – some of the sunrises and sunsets here are simply amazing.”
Dennis, who turns 79 in September, throws himself into being Sales and Marketing Manager at Elysium Village.
He loves seeing people embrace a lifestyle he feels so passionately about.
“I like to help people. There’s a lot of sadness around these villages even though there’s a lot of happiness, too. I see joy when people get connected,” he said.
Dennis and Gail married on April Fool’s Day, 1968.
They have three sons and two grandchildren, and he beams as he shows off a photo of the outgoing, independent woman he’s loved for more than half a century.
He counts meeting her as the most defining time in his life.
“I met my bride 54 years ago, when I was the fashion controller of Myer Northland, spruiking specials on a microphone,” he said.
“I saw this stunning girl with long hair, all in a grey pinafore with white stockings on and I said in the microphone, ‘hi, how do you do? I’d like to take you out too’ and she went bright red. Me, being the flamboyant person I was, didn’t realise she was coming in for a job.”
He travelled Australia in the 70s and 80s, pumped up on the adrenaline of building fashion sales empire, Dennis Down Under, and clearance sales out of Melbourne’s Flinders Lane.
After an ultimatum from Gail in the late 80s amid what he called his ‘gallivanting around’, he left fashion and forged an award-winning career in real estate, making a big impression with his creative copywriting.
When Dennis puts his mind to something, not much can stop him.
He is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and associated fluid on the brain and, despite the challenges, is determined to keep going.
“You’ve got to wake up every morning and enjoy the day with partners and family, and I’m talking as an aged person,” he said.
“I love what I do, and nothing is going to stop me.”