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Stitching up a new challenge

Lloyd Millar is not one to let gender stereotypes get in the way of a hobby. The former draughtsman and woodwork teacher is also a keen embroiderer.

Evidence of his handiwork is everywhere throughout his Magill unit, from exquisite needlepoint embroidery to a large tapestry, all framed by his own hand.

Lloyd, 86, learnt the craft from a group of women who were learning to make their own frames at his Hoad Woodcarving Academy at Fullarton.

“I thought I’d like to have a go at that [embroidery],” he says. “I decided if they can do it, so can I. I wasn’t about to let them beat me.”

Some of his pieces have a nautical theme, including a portrait of Shackleton’s journey to the Antarctic, and of Horatio Nelson and the battle of Trafalgar.

“I love the way the details come out before your eyes, like the folds of a dress or the petals of a rose,” he says. “You start with a graph and you have no idea what it will look like when it’s finished. I get a lot of satisfaction from it.”

Lloyd bought the woodworking school with a friend after his first ‘retirement’ at the age of 56 and ran the school for 20 years.

He has furnished his unit with his own ornately carved chairs and tables, pedestals, bedheads and mirror frames. He also carved four bespoke chairs for the Burnside City Church.

Lloyd has lived in his ACH Group unit for 15 years and is an avid rose gardener.

“I’m very happy here. I have nice neighbours and it’s a great place to live.”

Did you know? ACH Group has a range of retirement living options across Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula and East Melbourne. Find out more here.