A quarter-century for Charwood Legion Manor
Seniors housing complex hosts commemorative garden party celebration
It was a pleasantly warm afternoon July 17 with the sun beaming through the trees onto the lawn of Charwood Legion Manor in Carbonear.
The day was perfect to mark the 25th anniversary of the seniors housing complex that sits on Pike’s Lane between Rossiter and Carbonear Ponds with a commemorative garden party.
The 45 residents, their families, a dozen Royal Canadian Legion members and several government officials gathered in the adjoining rooms of the main foyer to celebrate the milestones they have experienced throughout the years.
Legion member and secretary of the board of directors Leslie Forward eloquently thanked those in attendance for their continued support and welcomed several guests to the event, especially two very special attendees — his honour Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador Frank E. Fagan and her honour Patricia Fagan.
Piano player and singer Peter Noel attended the official opening of Charwood in 1989, a year after the construction began. He performed a beautiful rendition of “Bless this house” by Helen Taylor for the occasion.
Noel sat at the piano during the celebration and belted out the same tune he had almost 25 years prior, and did so with ease.
Some residents smiled while some swayed to the song, but Forward noted she had some nostalgic feelings about the performance.
“It is very special for me to hear this song,” she exclaimed. “Not only because of the occasion but because Peter is my brother.”
The audience chuckled as Forward added that her father Roy Noel was one of the driving forces behind the construction of the home and now it is celebrating a significant milestone that she was thrilled to be a part of.
Experiencing the manor
Many of the residents gleefully expressed their adoration for their home. Some have only lived there a short time while others have spent many years there.
“If I had known it was going to be this great I would have moved here ten years ago,” said Carbonear native Lloyd Rossiter while he chatted with two friends and snacked on sandwiches.
He explained Charwood was like a small community, describing the people like neighbours who have conversations through the fence.
“Things are different now with people and their neighbours, but inside (Charwood) it’s just like it has always been.”
Ruby Pike, a 65-year-old resident of the manor, was delighted with her transition into her new home.
“I have always had a beautiful view from my doorstep,” she said, pointing towards the ocean. “When I moved here to Charwood, I got to keep my view.”
Residents at the manor range in age from 58-96 and the waiting list contains some 80 names hoping for the chance to move in and call it home.
Planting a tree
His Honour Frank E. Fagan was invited to plant a tree for the momentous occasion along with Comrade Whitfield Andrews of the Bay Roberts chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion and chairperson for the legion’s board of directors.
Many of the residents and invited guests, including member of parliament Scott Andrews (Avalon), member of the house of assembly Glenn Littlejohn (Port de Grave) and mayors from across the district gathered around the gazebo on the grounds next to the newest edition to the site, the cottages that were opened in 2011.
The two men dug a shallow hole and planted the three-foot-tall evergreen tree, something the residents were proud to be a part of.
“This tree will be a hundred feet tall when we celebrate our next big anniversary,” one resident laughed.
It is symbolic of the next chapter
Charwood Legion Manor celebrated its 25th anniversary this month and threw a garden party July 17 to commemorate the event.