A quar­ter-cen­tury for Char­wood Le­gion Manor

Se­niors hous­ing com­plex hosts com­mem­o­ra­tive gar­den party cel­e­bra­tion

The Compass - - SPORTS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

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.

Beau­ti­ful mu­sic

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.

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