“So much fun!" was the phrase echoed by residents and staff alike at the 70th Anniversary Carnival held at George Pearson Centre (GPC) on May 26. The carnival, which included game stations and a photo booth, was one of multiple celebrations held throughout the month of May to mark the care home's significant milestone.
Above: CARMA member Heather Morrison plays the ring toss game with GPC staff.
From its beginnings as a centre to treat tuberculosis and polio patients to the warm, tight-knit community it is today, GPC has come a long way throughout the last 70 years. As the building nears the end of its lifecycle, and those who live there begin to move to new supported housing apartments as part of the Pearson Redevelopment project, this anniversary feels even more poignant for the community.
The redevelopment was reflected in the celebration's theme, “Butterfly," representing transformation and hope for the future. For some residents, GPC has been home for more than 40 years, and they are excited about transitioning to new homes.
In addition to the carnival, the May celebrations included an anniversary luncheon for residents, a special meal for staff, and a parade and cake ceremony on May 12 that was attended by VCH leadership. As part of the ceremony, Bob Chapman, Vice President for Vancouver Community, Sarah Jordan, Director, Long Term Care and Assisted Living, and Dr. Marla Gordon, Medical Director, Long Term Care spoke on the importance of GPC's community, and presented plaques of appreciation to the Community and Residents Mentors Association (CARMA), the Marpole Women's Auxiliary, and the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation for their support and dedication to GPC residents.
“The GPC community is strong, resilient and shows so much care for one another," said Bob Chapman at the ceremony. “It is a privilege to see how this community works together and supports one another, and we are grateful to get to work with you on continually striving for better."
Inset: Bob Chapman and Dr. Marla Gordon serve cake at a celebratory ceremony on May 12.
The carnival was the grand finale of the month-long celebration. Staff decorated the hallways and gym with flowers and garlands, and volunteers supported the event, hosting various carnival games for residents, from ring-toss to wheel of fortune. The celebrations were jovial, with staff and residents laughing, visiting and trading in their game earnings for prizes like sweets and toiletries.
Above: GPC resident Vu Nguyen said the carnival was his favourite part of the month-long celebration.
“The people who work here are easy to talk with," said resident Mary McKellar of GPC's staff. “It's an incredible place to live."
We would like to thank the staff and volunteers who supported the 70th anniversary celebrations. There were a number of individuals who participated to make the celebrations memorable, including Maria Sareal and the team of screeners; Sharon Lum, Meghan Erdos and all the recreation team; Lisa Salazar; Megan Clarke; John Levey; Gillian O'Toole; and resident artist David F who designed the butterfly logo for the celebrations.