December 17, 2017

Meadowbrook’s Second Five Years

by Betty Ball

 

Instead of the general public asking the question, “When will Meadowbrook be built?” they now ask, “How do you like living there?” and “I hear the meals are very good; is that true?” Current residents respond positively to these questions.

Of Meadowbrook’s first forty-one residents, just nine are still here:  Dorothy Armstrong, Margaret Bell, Mary Bingham, June Burritt, Queenie Haddow, Angus and Heather Maxey, Biz Stratton and Mary Toynbee.  For some time now, the median age of Meadowbrook’s residents has been 89 years. Recently, Queenie, Biz and George Harrower all celebrated their 98th birthdays, while Sophie Betts, at 98 plus five months, proudly observes that she continues to be Meadowbrook’s senior member.

The sources for the following review of Meadowbrook’s second five years are our Administrator’s weekly “Minutes”, the Memory Book of past residents, and the reminiscences of those who live here, especially friend Mary Toynbee.

2008

It was toward the end of 2008, shortly after our Fifth Birthday celebration, that Nancy Keith-Murray died. She was our one and only (so far) centenarian, who celebrated her 100th birthday on the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the new millennium. She will long be remembered as the primary donor of the paved path around Meadowbrook’s property, which has been a major asset, allowing otherwise restricted residents to get outdoors and walk around.

A major development in the office was the hiring of Tannice McKillop as Administrative Assistant, in addition to her role as Chief of the Housecleaning staff. It had become impossible to run the office with thirteen different volunteers taking turns at the front desk. Though the volunteers were sad to give up their jobs, in retrospect the residents have been better served by this change.

During the summer, a number of trips to places of interest were organized and financed by Sharon Glover’s Community Wellness Program. These proved to be the forerunner of our present annual excursions.

In earlier years treats at Halloween had been offered at the front door, but due to fewer children coming and the cold air in the vestibule, it was decided no longer to do this. However, several staff members, Queenie and a few other residents continued to “dress up”, and the paper witches and goblins decorating the dining room kept the spirit alive.

In October, residents were offered the convenience of having their flu shots delivered in the Main Lounge. This was the last time this clinic took place at Meadow-brook; since then, groups of residents have gone together to receive their shots at the Community Gospel Hall.

At one of the Steering Committee meetings, having an art class was suggested. For a short while, George Harrower gave instruction in working with clay, and just recently, in 2013, volunteer Nancy Wiggen has been offering a class in painting.

Residents who came to Meadowbrook during 2008 included Tony and Inez Farr, Peggy Jacobs, Pam Masten-broek, Jim Sinclair, Ken and Anne Sutfin, and Glen and Frances Whitelaw.  Sadly, none of these residents are still with us.

When Marjorie Beggs died, Mardie Banks moved into her vacated suite across the hall to enjoy more sunshine, and acquired a cat to keep her company. Alas, one afternoon the cat leaped or fell over the balcony railing, and was never seen again. Mardie is noted for her frequent and elegant tea parties!

 

2009

In June of this year it was my turn to become a resident. For years my participation with Meadowbrook had been as a GISRA Board member and volunteer. It didn’t seem too strange to change roles. With the beginning of a downturn in the market, my husband Bob remained in our Mt. Belcher home for another year until our house was sold. It was difficult for him to leave his beloved workshop and the property he had so lovingly tended.

Our apartment at Meadowbrook was directly above Meadowbrook’s new Assistant Building Manager, Buck MacDonald, and we enjoyed the sound of his guitar drifting up from below as he practiced for his Barley Brothers Country Music Group.

It was noted that the winter weather in 2009 was particularly cold, with lots of flu going around, followed by an unusually hot, dry summer.

Four of Meadowbrook’s World War II veterans died during the year: Jack Fraser, ardent golfer and devoted husband of Alice, Ken Sutfin, Ken Clarke and Bert McCann. Bert had moved to Burnaby, but at his family’s request his memorial service was held at Meadowbrook. Many remembered Bert’s hearty, cheerful voice and how faithful he was in visiting his wife at Greenwoods.

Bob Appleton, who sadly also left us this year, was honoured for his outstanding community service, which  included being a charter member and president of the Salt Spring Seniors Services Society, long-time purchaser and stocker for the Community Services Food Bank and the “Santa” for Salt Spring’s Santa’s Workshop.

New residents included Anne Stevenson, who stayed only a short time and didn’t want to leave because of her beloved cat. Fortunately, her daughter Deb found a good home for the cat, and Anne found another cat, just as nice, to sit in her lap at Greenwoods. Also, little Margaret Mather and Alice McMahon (from Ireland) arrived this year, both still cherished, one-of-a-kind fellow residents.

Many Meadowbrook residents continued active as gardeners; there was even an annual sharpening day held when they could have their garden tools and kitchen knives sharpened!

Tony Farr’s only copy of his account of his wartime service years in the Navy, alas, went missing: a loss that for three months made it into Maureen’s Minutes. Sad to say, it was never found.

Public recognition came to Meadowbrook’s Knit-Wits: a two-page article in the Driftwood supplement had lovely pictures of June Burritt and Biz Stratton, and a group picture of the other participants. Connie Goodall was a key initiator of this group, which continues to this day, knitting caps, blankets and dolls to benefit children in Africa, through Salt Spring’s SOLID organization.

When Connie Papin, recently hired to serve as second chef, suffered a brain aneurysm, staff and residents raised $1,000 for her benefit, an effort initiated by Kate Bragg, our chief cook at the time.

In May when the Federal election rolled around, the residents had no excuse not to vote, as an advance poll was set up in our activity room.

A farewell party was held for John Pickering, who had served as GISRA’s Board Chairman for four years. John’s excellent company continues now each week as he presides over one of our morning coffee sessions.

It took some doing, but finally a committee was formed to organize our summer excursions to places of interest (or just to have lunch) both on and off the island. These trips for residents, who otherwise may not be able to get out and about very much, have continued, thanks to Maureen and her van and those residents still able and willing to drive.

In September Anne Sutfin volunteered to arrange the purchasing process for some new chairs and bookcases. The chairs improved the appearance and comfort in the main lounge, while the bookcases were needed because the library had been moved to the upstairs lounge. This bright and more convenient location renewed the residents’ interest in taking out the books.

Having recently become a resident myself, I experienced a profoundly sad experience whenever there was a death in our Meadowbrook family. Jean Hancock, one of our originals and a personal friend, died in New Westminster where she had recently moved to be closer to family. I was asked to speak at her memorial service, held in the Salt Spring United Church. Then in quick succession, or so it seemed, Jean Webber (another original) died, followed by Frances Whitelaw and Peggy Jacobs. Peggy, another personal friend, was a retired University of Alberta professor, active in the Trail and Nature Club and a lively conversationalist.

 

2010

Like most years, 2010 became an interesting, busy year. For a new resident, it may at first be difficult to have a death occur and then soon after, another person or couple moves in. That sounds morbid, but it’s not.

The death of Mort Stratton in January was felt, his passing a great loss. He was one of the originals who helped to build the place. A professor, writer and historian, Mort was a man of great accomplishments. He and Biz, married for 73 years, were devoted to each other since childhood.

Frances Gurney, another of our first residents and artistically talented, died in February.

Queenie, I believe, was the one who initiated another project (one of her many projects) for which the residents filled boxes of summer clothes and bedding for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Sharon Glover, the Community Wellness Coordinator who has her office in our building, is the organizer and supervisor of the Seniors’ Peer Support program, which has helped many of our residents over difficult times.  She is truly a friend to all.

Bob Ball and Queenie enjoyed becoming involved with the high school project, “Connecting Generations”.

Thanks to Sue Mouat, a favourite charity, “Grandmothers to Grandmothers” coming out of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, was hosted at Meadowbrook with a scrabble fund raiser. This has become an annual affair.

In April, there was a good-bye tea for Ilse Foster who left to live with family in Vernon. Jim Sinclair, in particular, missed her; they had become “hand-holding” friends.

New residents arrived during the summer. Dick and Vivienne Dobell were well known in the community, and Vivienne had been a volunteer in Meadowbrook’s office. Unfortunately, Vivienne died only a few months later. In August we welcomed Eileen Pike, a friendly person who had been an artist, doing crafts, spinning wool and knitting. Margaret Rithaler, one of the early library caretakers, moved to Greenwoods.

In September, sadly, Tom Wright died. He and Irene, a very community-minded couple, had moved into Meadowbrook just the year before. Irene has continued to bring new life and energy to our aging community.

Pat Herchmer, a tiny, special person who was another of our original residents, died in September. She was one who commanded attention: when I had barely arrived, she said to me: “Betty, I want you to organize bridge games!” (which I did). She was a favourite with many, especially with the members of the University Women’s Club.

Margaret Briggs moved into Pat’s suite, where she can keep track of everyone coming and going down in the parking lot. We are fortunate to have several of Margaret’s very attractive paintings adorning Meadowbrook’s walls.

In the kitchen, our new cooks, Kevin and Dean, excelled in preparing meals for us every night, and also for the many memorial receptions, volunteer luncheons and our Seventh Anniversary celebrated in September. This, as with all our special occasions, was presided over by Maureen, with Sylvain and Yvette adding their own special flair of French hospitality. There was a price increase from $12 to $15 for our guest meals, but this didn’t decrease the popularity of our “best restaurant in town”.

The introduction of a kitchen waste composting service for every apartment and the free TV black boxes has forced us into the 21st century.

The closing of the convenient postal outlet at the Country Grocer was not welcome. However, Tannice  keeps stamps for sale at the front desk, a service that the residents much appreciate.

Towards the end of the year, Barbara Maguire and Noreen Clarke, former residents who had moved on to Greenwoods and Extended Care, both died. We also lost Doreen Hamilton, our very first resident and an elegant and courteous lady. In earlier years, she and her daughter Boodie prepared beautiful flower arrangements for our dining room, and also were the source of the goldfish in our pond. Sadly, a few years later, most of the fish died when the detergent Tide, which was used to remove moss from the roof, washed into the pond. The few fish who survived are slowly multiplying, in spite of the visiting heron, and hopefully have developed Tide-resistant genes, in case it happens again.

Another original, both in time and character, who left us this year was Margo Cronyn. Many of us who knew her will not forget her: her fantastic balcony garden, her dinnertime discussions of science and philosophy, the various picturesque ornaments and pieces of furniture that adorn our common areas, most of all – well, how can one describe Margo?

 

2011

Yvette’s little dog, Tess, after a visit to another little dog across the way at Summerside, produced a litter of seven tiny black puppies, which caused quite a commotion among Meadowbrook’s residents. In due course they all found homes, and after those few months of maternal dignity, Tess soon reverted to her former bouncy exuberance.

The activity room’s old fitness equipment was replaced by three new state-of-the-art machines, which Sylvain took care to teach us how to use. A different kind of stimulation was provided when Conrad Koke, a volunteer from the community, undertook to teach chess to a small class of aspiring chess players. There was also a speech-reading course to help a few of our hard-of-hearing residents understand more at the supper table.

A big attraction for those of us who could see over the fence or through the gate were the horses in the field next door, especially the miniature horses Bubba with his golden tail and his lady Abba and her baby foal. Could it be that we see these “put-out-to-pasture” creatures, tranquilly grazing on the green grass, as a reflection of ourselves?

It was amazing to see how many small dolls were being knitted by members of the Knitwits group and then shaped and sewn by Irene Wright into little figures: boys and girls, each with its own personality and attire. One can imagine how much these dolls have delighted the children in Africa!

With a talk by Chuck Hamilton on how to prepare for an emergency, we made ourselves ready for that “never to come (we hope) big earthquake”. An unexpected fire alarm (in the rain) occurred and the residents responded, though with no great enthusiasm. Fire alarms, while necessary, are not popular!

Regularly scheduled entertainment during the year was of a high calibre. All of the musical groups were good, but especially popular were the little children of the Fiddlers’ Hatchery. Jean Knight, our very talented violinist, was a natural to host and introduce them.

As part of our scheduled summer excursions, a group of us visited the Sidney Ocean Discovery Centre, where in addition to all the sea creatures, we enjoyed luncheon at the Rum Runners’ Pub.

Sue Mouat was welcomed this year as our 100th resident and promptly began turning her little plot of grass into a mini Butcharts Garden, thus complementing two comparable gardens at the other end of the east wing, already created by Alice Fraser and Jean Knight.

Jo and Tony Booker moved into Meadowbrook, but unfortunately did not stay long, as Jo’s illness required them to move on to Vancouver, where Jo subsequently died. Jo was an early GISRA board member and a special friend of Mary Bingham, and it was a great disappointment that they had to leave so soon.

Gordon and Bianca Barnes came to us with special recognition of their talents: an article in the Driftwood headlined “Barnes Share Boatbuilding Journey”. Bob Ball, in particular, was ecstatic about Gordon’s 38-foot sailboat and his bigger collection of tools than Bob had ever seen. In our library is a copy of the Barnes’ book about their building this boat, a twenty-year project illustrated with photographs taken by graphic artist, Bianca.

There was sadness when Margaret Bell’s sister, Anne Sutfin, died. Her contributions to Meadowbrook were legion: setting up the library in its new location, organizing seniors’ excursions, becoming a senior peer counsellor. Anne was kind, patient and understanding; no wonder she was missed. Working with her in the library was a valuable experience for me and made it easy when I took over the responsibility.

Others who died this year included Eileen Pike, who was with us for only a short time; Connie Goodall, founding member of the Knitwits and a master at cryptic crosswords and scrabble; and Glen Whitelaw, a retired Vancouver lawyer, whose primary loves were having two desserts at dinner and reading his daily Vancouver Sun newspaper. Seemingly asleep on a couch in the Lounge, he would suddenly rise up as anyone approached, asking (or was it commanding?) that they go to the store to bring him his paper. Louise Johnson, who moved to Alberni to be near her son, died the following year. Louise was a keen bridge player and an appreciative audience for Don’s jokes at the big table-for-six at dinner. The departure of all these friends always meant a sad good-bye.

On the other hand, their places were soon taken by new people who also became our friends:

From Old Scott Road we welcomed Faith Slaney and from Victoria, Madeleine Southgate. Madeleine’s early years were spent in Argentina and, yes, she speaks Spanish. There was also Joan Calderhead, whose grandchildren early one morning set off the fire alarm toasting toast in the dining room. That was the end of the community toaster.  Alan and Betty Kirk moved into Doreen’s suite and right away became active and valued members of our community. Betty joined me in the Library, so that now Meadowbrook has two librarians named Betty.  If you have a question or a book to donate, just see Betty.

It was during this summer that bocce ball became, and continues to be, a favourite game out on the grass in front of the building, with Catherine Faulkner as our score keeper. This game was made possible by Alice Fraser’s donation of the heavy red and green balls, and it’s noticeable that traffic on the road slows down whenever a game is in progress.

Maureen’s son Martin and Irene’s grandson-in-law Kanayo were valuable helpers to Sylvain and Buck in keeping the grass cut and Meadowbrook’s grounds in good order.

In the community the new bus service became well used, being convenient and inexpensive. For the first while, the bus even drove down to deliver passengers to the front door, but this was discontinued as it added too many minutes to their schedule. The top of Meadowbrook’s driveway continues to be an official stop in their timetable.

A major disruption occurred in late November. To comply with new CRD health regulations, Meadowbrook was required to install two new large and very expensive grease interceptors in our kitchen. During the next several weeks the kitchen was shut down, all its equipment moved out, the flooring torn up and a big hole dug into the ground below. Meals were prepared by our cooks, Kevin and Darcy, in a rented kitchen two miles away at the Merchant Mews and hastily transported by Sylvain to Meadowbrook, where they were dished up in the Activity Room and delivered, still warm, to the dining room by our ever-adaptable servers. We residents, happily chatting with each other, scarcely noticed the difference.

In December an especially warm welcome was extended to Gordon English and his wife Sandy. Gordon was the extraordinary chairman of GISRA’s Board of Directors throughout Meadowbrook’s development and construction. Without him we would not be here, and it is a delight to have him with us as a fellow resident. Sandy was also on the Board for a while, and now gets pleasure helping the serving staff to set the tables before dinner.

 

2012

Thanks to Irene Wright, an “eldergarten” French class was started, with five pupils struggling to remember the words they’d learned way back in their high school days. Among the games and the poems, Canadian history and world geology that she introduced, was preparation for a performance of Les Trois Petits Cochons  (The Three Little Pigs). Unfortunately, le grand mechant loup (the big bad wolf) got sick and the performance never materialized, but the pigs and their houses now adorn the top of one of the bookcases in the library.

We were indebted to Meadowbrook’s Entertainment Committee, consisting of Shelagh Brady, Jean Knight and Arlene Dashwood, for regularly scheduled visits by choirs and other performers, including Buck’s Barley Brothers and the Seniors’ Lost Chords. Patrick Taylor, author of the Irish Country Doctor series and a Salt Spring resident, gave a particularly entertaining talk in his Irish brogue.

After the strange disappearance of our bingo equipment, a new set was received from a concerned donor, and Lou Rumsey took on the job of caller. Sophie Betts, Dorothy Armstrong and a few other enthusiasts play regularly on Friday evenings for the high stakes of 5¢ per card.

Two mornings each week we have continued to keep fit with Trisha Moroz-Barstead’s excellent exercise class. A survey of prospective residents taken way back before Meadowbrook opened indicated that “an exercise class” was the most important provision requested (after TV), and its popularity over the years has proven its value.

An unusual attraction for the residents was the felling by Gordon Lee of the two very tall trees across the fence in the yard next door, opening up the view and letting in more light. Some residents, concerned that a big wind might blow them over one night, can now sleep more peacefully.

Meadowbrook declared October to be Emergency Preparedness Month, with informative talks by Elizabeth Zook, Chuck Hamilton and a representative of the Fire Department.

The residents presented a card to Maureen in recognition of her ten years of service as Meadowbrook’s Administrator. Maureen is respected for her firm management, the hiring of our excellent staff, and for letting us know that she likes being here.

Completing their first five years of service were our incomparable Building Manager, Sylvain Lambert, and his wife Yvette. Competent in just about everything, Sylvain is tireless in his willingness to help in any situation, and Yvette, though we rarely see her at it, is the master painter who keeps our walls and corridors so fresh and bright. She apparently does this in the middle of the night while we’re all asleep.

Jim Sinclair left us to live with his daughter’s family in Nanaimo. Many of the residents regretted his departure, missing his cheerful personality and his readiness to volunteer for almost any job. Although his move didn’t work out, he has returned to Salt Spring Island and continues to participate in some of our activities, especially the bocce ball on Saturday mornings.

We were sorry to say good-bye to George Harrower’s wife, Agnes, who went to Greenwoods, but we understand she has adjusted well there. Meanwhile, George has mastered the white line painted down the middle of the pathway as a guide for those who don’t see very well.

Tragically, Edna  Gatt lost her life in an accident on her way to get her hair done. She was struck by a truck at the Co-op gas station. Residents and staff reacted with shock and disbelief. Edna had made herself helpful to many and was always kind and generous. A World War II veteran, she served as a WREN in Britain.

During this year, death came to nine former residents who had moved on to other situations: Louise Johnson, Margaret Rithaler, Dick Dobell, Jo Booker, and five of our originals: Kay Magee, Joan Lott, Billie Zacharias, Jean Hoskin and Audrey Kok.

Three men residents also died and their company was much missed. Les Jackson, a quiet, pleasant man died in January, and we know what a loss Jackie, his wife, has felt. Art Morton, who died in April, was a WW2 war veteran, and although he had a slightly forbidding presence for some residents, he was an avid reader and was known in the community for his strong sense of justice and concern for the state of the world. Cec Oliver, also a WW2 veteran, died in July after a very short illness. He had donated several attractive, comfortable chairs for the Lounge, and was a volunteer and frequent contributor of jokes for the Seniors for Seniors monthly newsletters.

Early in the year, new residents, Pam Stone, Mollie Lacy and Sheila Zoltay were welcomed. Pam and Alice Fraser knew each other in Victoria years ago and have revived their former friendship, while Mollie and Sheila, who were neighbours at Brinkworthy, are happy to continue their relationship. Also joining the Meadowbrook family were Joyce Jamieson, Kit Lewis, Joan Myers, and Thea Sowden, all of whom seemed right at home so quickly that I forgot they were new this year and had to be reminded! We all marvel at Thea’s skill at driving her impressive electric wheelchair around Meadowbrook’s corners.

During a powerful wind storm, a transformer and a large tree were struck down at the top of our driveway, and for 48 hours there was neither heat nor light nor stoves in our apartments. Fortunately, because of Meadowbrook’s emergency generator, the kitchen and the lounges were not affected, and the residents rallied, many of them gathering in the downstairs lounge to enjoy the warmth of each other’s company (and the propane fireplace). Some said it was actually a fun time and we should do this more often. Such is our Meadowbrook spirit at its best!

To end the year, after no sign of wintry weather, it actually snowed on Christmas day, to Dorothy Armstrong’s delight, but by morning it was all gone.

 

2013  (so far)

Don Madsen, former Vancouver policeman, died in February. He is still being missed: his booming voice, his silly jokes, his hearty laugh, not to mention his abrupt adjournment of meetings that he thought had gone on long enough. He had his fixed place at the table-for-six, and it was normal to request permission to sit at his table, though actually he never refused. When he was gone, the table-for-six was rearranged into two tables-for-four, as it didn’t seem right for him not to be there.

Also in February, there was a helpful discussion about Advance Health Directives. These Directives give instructions regarding the level of care one wishes to receive at the end of life.

Meadowbrook was a “site-based” voting station for the B.C. provincial election in May. The convenience of being able to vote in our own main lounge was appreciated and assured that a maximum number of residents actually voted.

Spring was a difficult time this year. Two of our former residents died: Pam Mastenbroek, after a short stay in Greenwoods, and Art Rumsey, who had moved to Vancouver to be closer to family. Lou’s many Meadow-brook friends offered support in her loss.

And there was a series of falls, resulting in broken bones. Alice Fraser’s fall prompted Bob Ball to scrape away the loose gravel on the path all the way up to the grocery store, making it a much safer and easier walk for everybody. It was a big job, and everyone was very grateful to Bob for his thoughtfulness.  Mardie Banks is making an astonishingly quick recovery from her broken hip, already venturing to walk around without her walker, while June Burritt, unfortunately, remains in the hospital, much missed by her neighbours and friends.

Also missed through much of this springtime was our irreplaceable Wellness Coordinator, Sharon Glover, who underwent major hip surgery. During her absence, Mike Webb has kept the Peer Support program going, and I’m sure he is as happy and relieved to have her back again at last as all the rest of us. Sharon is a friend to all!

So far this year, three new residents have been welcomed to the Meadowbrook family: Bunny Campbell from Prospect Lake near Victoria, and Marjorie Cade and Bob Marshall from Cusheon Lake on Salt Spring.  Already Bunny has provided a film for our weekly movie, and Marjorie is helping to organize our summer excursions. As for Bob, he has some lively stories to tell at the supper table!

A high note in April was the visit to Salt Spring Island of the Honourable Judith Guichon, British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor. In anticipation of her coming, there was extra motivation for cleaning the premises. On holiday at the time, I missed both the cleaning and her visit, but I understand that she left the residents with a good impression: friendly handshakes and a brief complimentary speech following a tour of our facility. For the library, she presented a beautifully  illustrated book about Government House in Victoria, in which she inscribed:

 

April 13, 2013: Thank you for your hospitality at          Meadowbrook on the occasion of my first visit to Salt Spring Island.

Judith I. Guichon,

29th Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

 

Joan Myers, who this year organized our first-ever Canada Day celebration, is certainly our “master” of ceremonies.  It was a fun event, with Yvette and Sylvain’s red-and-white banners and flags decorating the dining room and lounge. Joan expertly managed the program, which included immigrants Lou Rumsey, Jean Knight and Margaret Bell recalling their first impressions of Canada some sixty years ago. Most of us attending donned red-and-white clothing, and all enjoyed the occasion immensely. Hot dogs at dinner that evening made a special hit with many of us.

Of particular pleasure to the women residents of Meadowbrook, I have discovered, is that they no longer have to worry about cleaning or cooking and especially the planning of meals. After lunch we can all just relax, knowing that at 6:00 o’clock dinner awaits us! The servers spoil us, especially Linda, Susan, Jane, and Nolan (who seems like everybody’s favourite grandson).  Also helping out from time to time are Jessie and Kanayo. Six-foot-tall Kanayo, who is usually seen tending the grounds outdoors, never fails to bring a smile as he strides around the dining room dressed in his apron.

As for housecleaning, we willingly vacate our apartments once a week, turning them over for an hour to our housekeepers. Mine is the very accommodating Alison, while other residents are privileged to have the highly efficient and delightful Jocelyn or Amy, or Dee who sings as she works. Tannice continues, seemingly without effort, to manage not only the housekeeping department but the front office as well.

Now in July, once again the ambulance has come to our door, this time to take Alice McMahon, our TV bowling champion, to the hospital. Her cheery Irish presence will be greatly missed.

At GISRA’s 15th Annual General Meeting, held in March this year, Victoria Olchowecki was re-elected by acclamation to her third term as President of the Board, in recognition of her diligence and wise counsel in overseeing Meadowbrook’s operations both currently and as we look to the future. As a non-profit, charitable organization, we have been very fortunate indeed in the calibre of our directors over the years!

In summary, Meadowbrook, ten years on, is an expertly administered facility with a dedicated Board, a superlative staff and a group of residents who feel like family. As we all grow older, it has been observed that there are now fifteen or so walkers parked across the hall at dinner time, whereas when we started there were scarcely any. Does this mean that our communal health has declined, or just that more of us have discovered how useful these walkers are, not just for getting around safely but for carrying all sorts of things in the basket – like Connie Kelly’s thirteen chirping birds?

It appears that, without exception, Meadowbrook’s residents consider it a privilege to be living here. There is a comfortable feeling of belonging and of mutual helpfulness. We hope and trust that our future residents throughout the years to come will feel the same.

 

Happy Tenth Birthday, Meadowbrook !

September 1, 2003 – September 1, 2013

121 Atkins Road, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8V 2L6