By Catherine Mills- Rouleau
I’ll never forget the day that Nectaria called to tell me that I was one of the lucky ones who had been selected to move into McGreevy Manor. I called my three children and began the terrible ordeal of emptying the eleven-room home in which I had lived for forty years and had raised my family.
It was on a lovely day in June of 2010 that I locked the front door of my house for the last time, and I’ve never looked back.
McGreevy Manor was named after John H.C. McGreevy, who was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1988. He was respected for his volunteer commitment to countless health, religious, military and charitable organizations in both the French and English-speaking communities alike. His spirit of openness and community involvement still lives on at the Manor that bears his name.
As you may know, the Manor is situated in one of the most sought-after parts of the city. Most importantly, it is a very short distance from the grocery stores, pharmacies and, believe it or not, we have more than a dozen restaurants within walking distance. Two buses stop almost at our door, and it’s an inexpensive taxi ride to the Jeff or the Ste-Foy shopping malls. After a few months, I decided I no longer needed a car. For those of us who enjoy a stroll we are only a stone’s throw away from the Bois de Coulonge or the cliff overlooking the river.
Some of the tenants have part-time jobs and many others—some in their late eighties and even in their nineties—offer hours of their time as volunteers for different community services especially at Saint Brigid’s Home. A tunnel separates our building from the Home. We are often invited to help with special activities there, to share church services, and to use the dining room and hairdressing parlour (residents of the Saint Brigid’s always get priority, of course).
McGreevy Manor reminds me of the little community where I was born. It’s a friendly place where one can knock on any one’s door for a friendly chat or a cup of tea. We can borrow a cup of sugar or a pinch of salt, and someone is always there to put a pin in a dress that needs shortening or lend a book.
The social committee at the Manor is very active. There is an exercise program and a walking group. A jigsaw puzzle is always in the works in one of the common rooms and one can stop by to add a piece or two or, if they wish, spend hours on those works of art. A group of the tenants gets together in the evening to play games or cards. The committee also organizes a weekly bingo and tea. There are dinner parties and special get-togethers several times a year. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween are always celebrated.
The Voice of English-speaking Québec stops by with a bus to take us to the shopping centres. We also go to the Île d’Orléans several times during the summer to pick fruit or buy produce at the little markets along the way. We tour the city and stop at lovely restaurants to have lunch, afternoon tea, an ice cream cone or a picnic.
(From left: Catherine Mills-Rouleau and Nectaria Skokos)
If you would like more information about renting a moderately-priced apartment at the Manor where autonomous older adults can live in a safe, welcoming community setting, please call Nectaria Skokos at 418 684-5333, extension 1517, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the website at mcgreevymanor.org.