Com­mu­nity power

The Glengarry News - - News - BY TARA MACDON­ALD News Cor­re­spon­dent

The Maxville Manor long-term care fa­cil­ity cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary with a gala event at the Met­calfe Cen­tre on Satur­day evening.

More than 180 peo­ple showed up to the event, de­spite un­favourable weather con­di­tions and the ab­sence of elec­tric­ity.

“The gala was a huge suc­cess de­spite the power out­age,” said Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant to the CEO Kristie Camp­bell. “It was proof of how ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity can come to­gether to make these things work and re­ally that’s what the manor is all about.”

The gala opened with a cock­tail hour where guests were wel­come to min­gle to the sounds of the Camp­bell Trio.

Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies Bill Shields did an ex­cel­lent job rustling guests to their ta­bles for the open­ing talks fol­lowed with a bless­ing by Rev­erend Jim Fer­rier. Rev. Fer­rier spoke of the orig­i­nal pioneers who first en­vi­sioned the Manor and strove to en­sure its place in the com­mu­nity, as well as the many peo­ple who helped sup­port and strengthen the Manor en­sur­ing its con­tin­ued pres­ence in the com­mu­nity and its abil­ity to pro­vide for the wel­fare of its res­i­dents and the com­mu­nity.

While there were a few ner­vous jit­ters as the guests set­tled in to their ta­bles, La Cui­sine Volante did not fail to im­press. “They did an amaz­ing job con­sid­er­ing the cir­cum­stances,” ex­claimed Ms. Camp­bell. “They ba­si­cally pre­pared all of the food in the dark and with­out power.”

The event’s motto, “A com­mu­nity car­ing for se­niors,” was well phrased as com­mu­nity mem­bers, fam­i­lies of res­i­dents, and mem­bers of the board young and old shared sto­ries about the his­tory of the Manor and their ex­pe­ri­ences over the years. The com­mit­ment and de­vo­tion of the com­mu­nity were also demon­strated by the ef­forts vol­un­teers and guests made to en­sure the event went off with­out a hitch, de­spite the lack of power. Guests rushed out to col­lect gen­er­a­tors which were used to power the mi­cro­phones and play videos while lanterns were pro­vided by Deb­bie’s Coun­try Cor­ner.

Wel­com­ing re­marks opened with a few words from Kel­lie Pick­ett, Chair of the Maxville Manor Foun­da­tion along with Bernard Bouchard, Maxville Manor Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer and Ivan Cole­man, Chair of the Maxville Manor Board of Di­rec­tors.

“We’re cel­e­brat­ing the fact that we’ve been go­ing for 50 years. This is what the com­mu­nity can do when we come to­gether,” said Ms. Pick­ett. “We’re all ex­cited about the an­niver­sary, the his­tory, the hard work and the de­vo­tion peo­ple had to the Manor,” agreed Mr. Cole­man. “It’s part of the heart and soul of Glen­garry.”

They were fol­lowed by guest speak­ers Al­lan MacDon­ald and Joan Si­wik. “What the peo­ple of Maxville and district achieved in 1968 is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of what can be ac­com­plished when a com­mu­nity has lead­er­ship, so­cial co­he­sion and a de­ter­mi­na­tion to do great things,” said Mr. MacDon­ald, Glen­garry County Ar­chiv­ist.

One of the orig­i­nal pioneers of the Manor, Ms. Si­wik re­called the early days of the or­ga­ni­za­tion and the work needed to garner the sup­port of the com­mu­nity. “I started work­ing at the Maxville Manor in 1968,” said Ms. Si­wik. “My mother told me that I had to go out and tell ev­ery­body to sup­port the manor be­cause some day we might need it.” From there, Ms. Si­wik went on to pur­sue a busy ca­reer as a nurse and lec­tured at St. Lawrence Col­lege where she of­ten took stu­dents to the Manor for place­ments. Later she worked as a gen­eral duty nurse at the Manor and went on to tell of some of her favourite ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing with spe­cial care res­i­dents and tales of work­ing the night shifts. In the late 1980s, Ms. Si­wik de­cided to turn to pol­i­tics be­com­ing a coun­cil mem­ber for the for­mer Kenyon Town­ship dur­ing which time she rep­re­sented the town­ship on the board of the Maxville Manor be­fore be­com­ing the first Chair of the Maxville Manor Foun­da­tion in 2000. “It’s a com­mu­nity within a com­mu­nity,” said Ms. Si­wik. “The com­mu­nity was very ac­tive and spon­sored the Manor, all the dif­fer­ent groups in the com­mu­nity have con­tin­ued to spon­sor and sup­port the Manor, but a lot of the staff were also mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.”

Guests heard tales of snow­storms and great drifts mak­ing the roads im­pass­able dur­ing the 1970s and how com­mu­nity mem­bers vol­un­teered to drive out to staff mem­bers’ houses on their snow­mo­biles and trans­port them to work. Ms. Si­wik also re­called the Great Ice Storm of ’98 where the Manor man­aged to stay open thanks to count­less vol­un­teers who helped care for the res­i­dents as well as how the Manor housed more than 50 mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who were in need of shel­ter.

“We were feed­ing each other,” Ms. Si­wik ex­plained.

The event closed with the pre­sen­ta­tion of a video walk­ing guests down mem­ory lane and a silent auc­tion which raised more than $4,000. Auc­tion items were do­nated by lo­cal busi­nesses, mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and fam­i­lies of Manor res­i­dents past and present. The most pop­u­lar item was a pair of tick­ets to watch the Leafs play Philadel­phia, which was auc­tioned off for a whop­ping $900.


HIGH­LIGHTS: Above: Joan and Len Si­wik. Photo right: Ivan Cole­man, Chair of the Board of Di­rec­tors, Kel­lie Pick­ett, Chair of the Foun­da­tion Board, Bernard Bouchard, CEO. Be­low: James Mor­ris.

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