Seasons

Local residents celebrate a century of living

 

By Jonathan Martin

In the early morning of April 9, 1917, 150,000 Canadian soldiers poured out of their trenches and shell holes into the snow-swept wasteland surrounding Vimy Ridge.

It was the first wave of what would become Canada’s most celebrated military achievement. It was also the day Herman Glonek was born in Poland, which, at the time, was split between German and Russian control.

The assault lasted four days. By the late afternoon of April 12, the four Canadian divisions making the advance had captured their objectives and pushed German forces back five kilometers. As if in celebration, Jean Farr entered the world in St. Thomas, Ontario that same day.

Ninety-nine years, 364 days later, on April 11, 2017, Glonek and Farr sat at a table together in Amherstburg. Both are living at Seasons Retirement Community. Though their home countries were at war when they were born, today they are friends, and hugged each other in mutual celebration. After all, a century of life is no small feat.

Some of the staff of Seasons Retirement Community surround Jean Farr (front, left) and Herman Glonek (front, right) as they celebrate their birthdays at Seasons in Amherstburg last Tuesday morning.  Glonek turned 100 April 9 and Farr turned 100 April 12.

Some of the staff of Seasons Retirement Community surround Jean Farr (front, left) and Herman Glonek (front, right) as they celebrate their birthdays at Seasons in Amherstburg last Tuesday morning. Glonek turned 100 April 9 and Farr turned 100 April 12. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

“My life was hard,” Glonek said in his sharply-accented English. “I struggled so.”

At 21, he joined the Polish army and soon found himself fighting against two of the era’s most influential military forces: Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. The invaders swept across Glonek’s home and swallowed the country whole in just over a month.

Along with millions of other Poles, Glonek was captured and taken to a forced-labour camp. He spent the rest of World War Two starved and struggling on a German farm.

“I have such stories from that time,” he said. “I often tell myself I will write a book.”

Following Poland’s liberation in 1945, Glanek bought his way into Canada.

“I hated the (second world) war,” said Farr. She was living in St. Thomas while Glonek was making his way to Canada. She remembers welcoming some veterans home and noting the stinging absence of others.

“I hope there’s never another one,” she added. “But who’s to know?”

Jean Farr stands behind her 100th birthday cake at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday.  Farr is the third person to celebrate a 100th birthday at Seasons as of April 12.  The first was Marie White, who turned 100 last year.

Jean Farr stands behind her 100th birthday cake at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday. Farr is the third person to celebrate a 100th birthday at Seasons as of April 12. The first was Marie White, who turned 100 last year. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Farr moved around a little during her century of life, but always stayed in Ontario. She finally found her way into Essex County following the death of her husband, when she moved into Harrow with her niece. From Harrow, she made the jump into retirement living at Seasons.

“I have no words for these people who take care of me,” said Glonek, referring to the Seasons staff. “I give thanks to God that I am here.”

For Glonek, getting to where he is took some doing. The Polish native said he entered Canada with a contract. He would work on a farm near Montréal for one year. After that, he would be on his own. When the contract ended, he moved to Windsor.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (right)  presents Herman Glonek with a framed certificate at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday.  The certificate reads, in part, "Congratulations & Best Wishes on the Occasion of Your 100th Birthday." (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (right)
presents Herman Glonek with a framed certificate at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday. The certificate reads, in part, “Congratulations & Best Wishes on the Occasion of Your 100th Birthday.” (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Decades later, the two centenarians found themselves being handed a piece of cake with a large, blue “100” printed on its top after being addressed by Amherstburg deputy mayor Bart DiPasquale and Amherstburg chief of police Tim Berthiaume.

DiPasquale spoke to both Farr and Glonek individually before presenting each with a certificate declaring that the “Council of the Corporation of the Town of Amherstburg votes to extend Birthday Wishes” to them.

Berthiaume presented each with a commemorative coin, on which the town’s police logo is emblazoned.

“You get one every hundred years,” Berthiaume told them. “I guess you better start clearing space.”

Farr and Glonek laughed, then exchanged a look.

 

For more photos from that day, visit our Facebook album.

Seasons Amherstburg resident celebrates 100th birthday

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a special day for Marie White last Wednesday.

The Seasons Amherstburg resident celebrated her 100th birthday with friends, a few dignitaries and, of course, a big 100th birthday cake. White said she felt fine on her big day but was taken aback by the party thrown in her honour.

“Yes, I should say,” said White, when asked about whether she was surprised.

Even though she was surprised, White was pleased with the party.

“This is lovely,” said White. “I can’t believe how nice it is.”

Lynn Smith, the lifestyles services manager at Seasons Amherstburg, described White as “a simple, easy to please lady” who didn’t want too much of a fuss on her birthday.

“She wanted to keep it nice and easy,” said Smith.

Marie White (left) is presented with an award from the town on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Making the presentation to White is Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

Marie White (left) is presented with an award from the town on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Making the presentation to White is Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

White celebrated with her family the previous weekend with last Wednesday’s party being on her actual birthday. She said she doesn’t have a secret on how she has lived as long as she has but had one piece of advice: “you just keep going.”

Keeping going is something White does regularly, Smith noted. White is seen regularly with her walker “doing laps” of the halls and keeping as active as she can. White has two daughters and several grandchildren and one of the highlights of her century-long life has simply been to be around her family.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (right) presents 100-year-old Marie White with a gift on behalf of the Amherstburg Police Service.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (right) presents 100-year-old Marie White with a gift on behalf of the Amherstburg Police Service.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale presented White with a framed certificate from the town of Amherstburg while Chief Tim Berthiaume and Deputy Chief Ian Chappell wishing White well. Berthiaume presented her with a special commemorative coin with the police logo on it.

Seasons seeking “Likes” and “Shares” to aid local food bank

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Seasons Retirement Communities is looking to aid local food banks and are turning to Facebook users to assist them in doing it.

Seasons is posting commercials for their retirement communities on Facebook and they are wanting people to “Like” and “Share” them a combined 10,000 times. Seasons operates ten retirement homes and will give $1,000 to food banks in each of the ten communities should the initiative be successful.

Jacquie Gibb, business manager at Seasons Amherstburg, said if the total of 10,000 “Likes” and “Shares” is met, the Amherstburg Food Bank will be the recipient of the local share.

Seasons points out that use of food banks by seniors increased over 2015 with that growth being 35 per cent more than the previous year. The retirement home company also points out that it “believes in supporting the communities where we operate retirement homes, and in partnering with local organizations to deliver quality services to local seniors.”

Seasons Amherstburg is one of ten Seasons Retirement Communities that are trying to drum up support for a Facebook “Like” and “Share” campaign. If commercials that are being posted to Seasons’ Facebook page are “Liked” and “Shared” a combined 10,000 times, $10,000 will be divided among the ten retirement communities and local food banks therein. Seasons Amherstburg’s $1,000 share would go to the Amherstburg Food Bank. From left: Seasons Amherstburg business manager Jacquie Gibb, Lucille Rivest, Alice Elvy, Joanne Reaume and Seasons Amherstburg general manager Brenda D’Alimonte.

Seasons Amherstburg is one of ten Seasons Retirement Communities that are trying to drum up support for a Facebook “Like” and “Share” campaign. If commercials that are being posted to Seasons’ Facebook page are “Liked” and “Shared” a combined 10,000 times, $10,000 will be divided among the ten retirement communities and local food banks therein. Seasons Amherstburg’s $1,000 share would go to the Amherstburg Food Bank. From left: Seasons Amherstburg business manager Jacquie Gibb, Lucille Rivest, Alice Elvy, Joanne Reaume and Seasons Amherstburg general manager Brenda D’Alimonte.

The three commercials feature residents from Seasons and were filmed at Seasons communities with two commercials featuring staff from Seasons. The goal is to show the public what life is like in a Seasons Retirement Community.

Seasons Amherstburg general manager Brenda D’Alimonte pointed out there are also two other communities within Essex County that stand to benefit. Those locations include Seasons Royal Oak Village in LaSalle and Seasons Lakeshore.

The “Like” and “Share” campaign runs now through April 20. The direct link to the Facebook page is www.facebook.com/seasonsretirement.

Local couple celebrates 72 years of wedded bliss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Ken and Cathy Farrow got to celebrate their big day a little early.

The local couple, who now reside at Seasons Amherstburg, celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary with family and friends last Saturday afternoon though their actual anniversary isn’t until Thursday. The couple was married Feb. 25, 1944 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Daughter Sheila Hatfield said her father is a World War II veteran while her mother is a war bride.

Many people are amazed at the length of time her parents have been married, she said.

“Everyone says ‘wow’ so we put ‘wow’ on the cake,” said Hatfield.

Cathy and Ken Farrow celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary with friends and family last Saturday at Seasons. Their actual anniversary is Thursday.

Cathy and Ken Farrow celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary with friends and family last Saturday at Seasons. Their actual anniversary is Thursday.

The couple has travelled a lot since the war, Ken explained, with Cathy stating that with all the ups and downs over the last seven decades, they are very happy to still be together.

Their secret?

“Being a good forgiver,” said Cathy. “You have to be a good forgiver. That way, you can sit down and talk.”

Ken, a retired Windsor police inspector, added that having a good job doesn’t hurt either.

“As long as you have a good job and income, you can support a family,” said Ken, 95. “Fortunately, I worked for the city of Windsor.”

The Farrows have lived in Amherstburg for approximately 25 years with Sheila stating they moved into seasons last August. She is one of two children Ken and Cathy had, with Sheila’s brother Gordon having died Sept. 12, 2001.

Luck and good medical care has also factored into their longevity. Sheila said her 90-year-old mother suffered a pair of strokes last month and credits and thanks the staff at Seasons for helping her mother through it.

“I’m so happy (with Seasons),” said Sheila. “I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Seasons Amherstburg raises $500 in their chili cookoff

 

Seasons Amherstburg presents a $500 cheque to the Heart & Stroke Foundation last Friday. From left: Seasons chef Beau Veldhuis, Heart & Stroke Foundation area administrator Kristen Dube and Seasons leasing manager Ashley Gibb.

Seasons Amherstburg presents a $500 cheque to the Heart & Stroke Foundation last Friday. From left: Seasons chef Beau Veldhuis, Heart & Stroke Foundation area administrator Kristen Dube and Seasons leasing manager Ashley Gibb.

By Ron Giofu

 

Seasons Amherstburg donated $500 to the Heart & Stroke Foundation last week thanks to the chili-making abilities of its staff.

The cheque was presented to Kristen Dube, area administrator for the Windsor chapter of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, last Friday afternoon by Seasons leasing manager Ashley Gibb and chef Beau Veldhuis with the money being raised at a chili cookoff held at Seasons two days earlier.

Heather Vandenham, lifestyles services manager at Seasons, said there were six entrees into the chili cookoff this year, four being from the staff, one being from the member care floor and one from the kitchen. She said they try to do at least one fundraiser quarterly for either the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Alzheimers Society of Windsor-Essex.

Vandenham added that candy-grams were also sold as a way to raise money with Seasons resident Margaret Squire also getting into the act, as she baked zucchini loaves in the retirement home’s first floor kitchen and donated the proceeds.

Squire reported that she raised $45. She added that she regularly uses the kitchen, constructed in space formerly occupied by the Amherstburg Family Health Team before the latter moved to a new building on the property, at least once or twice per week.

“It is the most beautiful kitchen,” the 95-year-old said.