Pineview Terrace Lodge holds final celebration at old facility

Matt Gardner
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A volunteer appreciation tea at Pineview Terrace Lodge on Friday also marked a significant milestone for staff members and residents.

The event held to honour past and present volunteers represented the final celebration at the old facility, which this year is marking its 50th anniversary.

Aside from live entertainment by local band The Golden Notes, the tea included remarks by numerous speakers paying tribute to the work of lodge volunteers while reminiscing about the facility’s history since it opened in 1964.

“It’s special to be able to recognize the contributions of all of our volunteers throughout the years, and 50 years is certainly a milestone,” Prince Albert Parkland Health Region (PAPHR) director of volunteer services Sonya Jahn said.

“We are so delighted to see some of our volunteers that have volunteered in the past that are here today, but also our dedicated volunteers that come each and every week to volunteer their time here today so that we can be able to celebrate the contributions that they make during National Volunteer Week.”

In her remarks, Jahn recounted the “story of the starfish,” an oft-told morality tale that she related to the work of volunteers.

The story involves an elderly man who sees a young man on the beach throwing starfish into the ocean to prevent them from dying when the tide goes out.

When the older man tells him that there are many miles of beach full of starfish and that his efforts could not possibly make a difference, the younger man picks up another starfish, throws it into the ocean and replies, “It made a difference for that one.”

“This story certainly symbolizes the wonderful work of each and every one of you, our wonderful Pineview Terrace Lodge volunteers here today,” Jahn said, thanking the volunteers for their various contributions such as helping out with recreation activities, providing musical entertainment and helping with spiritual care.

Noting afterward that Pineview Terrace Lodge volunteers are part of an estimated 3,500 volunteers working across the health region, Jahn added, “Volunteers play such a significant role because they are there to achieve the mission and vision of our health region, but they’re the ones who provide those extras that staff just don’t have the opportunity or have enough time to do.”

PAPHR CEO Cecile Hunt echoed those themes, thanking volunteers on behalf of the health region for their efforts, be it providing entertainment, helping out with activities or supporting work in the flu clinics.

“They might be first responders. They might cuddle babies at the hospital. But all of them each and every day make a difference -- and just like the starfish, every smile, every hug, every piece of support that’s given to that family who’s waiting for the time to pass after their flu shot, all of those events and that care is made much easier because of volunteers who are present at each and every day,” Hunt said.

It’s special to be able to recognize the contributions of all of our volunteers throughout the years, and 50 years is certainly a milestone. Sonya Jahn

Interspersed with celebrations of volunteer work was a broad overview of changes over the 50-year history of Pineview Terrace Lodge, as well as what had not changed.

“From the very beginning, Pineview had volunteers,” director of care Marj Bodnarchuk said. “And you know what? We love them just as much today as everybody did back then.

“So we’re so happy we get to celebrate our volunteers, celebrate 50 years of wonderful times and just celebrate being together with a party.”

In her own remarks, Pineview Family Auxiliary president Jennifer Gibson painted a picture of the world at the time of the lodge’s opening -- a time when Lester B. Pearson was prime minister, a loaf of bread cost 21 cents and The Beatles and Bob Dylan were burning up the charts.

Longtime Pineview Terrace Lodge volunteer Doreen Hanson, who estimated that she had been working at the facility for more than 30 years, recalled fondly how she first began volunteering at the facility.

After her parents refused to let her become a nurse, Hanson tried a variety of other jobs before receiving a call asking whether she could come play the piano at the lodge and perform with a choir.

“I managed, I worked through the years -- and then when I got that call to come here, that was the happiest day of my life just because I was so glad to be here,” she recalled.

Many of the attendees at Friday’s tea saw the move to a new facility as somewhat bittersweet.

“It’s kind of sad, but you have to look forward to the new place and I’m thinking that … (there are) some fantastic things going on right here,” Gibson said.

“Change isn’t easy -- period -- but the transition from this facility into the new house model will be definitely an emotional experience I think for everybody,” PAPHR director of long-term care Darlene Batty said.

“But it’s in already capable hands,” she added. “Marj will do a great job as well as her staff, and hopefully with a little bit of co-operation it will be as smooth as possible for the residents.”

Striking an optimistic note, Hanson said, “It’s going to be different for us, but it’s good. It’s really good.

“I’m glad they’re getting out of here, really, and getting into something new.”

Organizations: The Beatles

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