Our Circle

Our Circle is the quarterly newsletter published by South Granville Park Lodge. Chock full of photos of our residents enjoying outings, special events, holidays and meaningful everyday moments, it also features profile and spotlight stories about our Lodge family. 

 

Excerpts and articles from Our Circle are available here as well.
 

Family and advocates are welcome to view our Special Events listings as well as Community Health Advisories and Updates on our NOTICES page. Please contact our administration to receive the password.

Notices

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A Message from Margareta

Our Circle, Spring 2021

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There’s a fresh breeze blowing our way and all of us at The Lodge are delighted that Spring is in the air. And what better to refresh us right now than more time with family and friends. The advent of vaccinations for our residents and staff has meant an easing of visiting restrictions and we are looking forward to welcoming more people to our sunny patios as summer approaches. Residents will also be able to enjoy outings and walks with their loved ones and we invite you to use the JANE APP on our website to book a visit or activity.  Full details of the protocols still in place are on the family webpage as well.

We are busy as ever enjoying holidays with music from our favourite (now outdoor) entertainers and delicious treats from our chef. A number of residents are also celebrating a centennial birthday (or even more) this year and we are thrilled to bring you a few photos of these remarkable (socially distanced) milestones on these pages. Our Meaningful Lives feature continues to be a huge hit and we look forward to showcasing the special stories and pictures of many of our Lodge family both in this and future issues.

Please reach out to our team with any questions you may have as we work to gradually reintroduce our usual activities and visiting habits.  With your continued support, there are safe, sunny days ahead.


Sending warm wishes for 2021.

Margareta Stavridis, Administrator

Meaningful Lives: Mr. Rhys Eyton

Our Circle, Spring 2021

Some people have their head in the clouds… others actually rise above them. With a lifelong love of flying, Mr. Rhys Eyton is one of the latter.

Born in 1935, Rhys spent his school years here in Vancouver and attended Prince of Wales Secondary. His active and industrious way of life took flight at a young age - with his family, his many friendships, his passion for sports, and even while delivering The Province newspaper every morning before school started. Rhys had an innate work ethic. His tenacity and determination drove him to save enough money to put himself through business school at Western University in London, Ontario.

With his first degree under his belt, Rhys moved back to Vancouver and soon married his wife, Lynn in 1962. Continuing his studies, Rhys undertook his chartered accountant designation - which ultimately lead to his life long career in the world of aviation. As his role within the airline business began to evolve, Rhys and Lynn adapted to the dynamic life that lay ahead of them. With four children in tow, they moved several times and traveled to many parts of the world – enjoying new people and places along the way.

Rhys remained unwavering in his focus on work, yet he always made time to get away and relax. He attributes those pockets of time away as the platform that brought him new ideas and insights, in a way that would never have happened if he had remained sitting at his desk.

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LIVES

...Are the result of many meaningful days! Our Lodge philosophy honours and encourages every resident to continue their life story. We look forward to sharing some of those stories on these pages and hope you will enjoy the photos and experiences of our amazing seniors.

Known for being a risk taker within the business world, he was also known for his capacity to listen deeply. While Rhys thrived in the aviation domain, it was his quiet, warm, engaging nature that influenced every corner of his life. Over the years, he imparted many wisdoms, most notably the message that encouraged his family and friends to ‘fly’ with their visions and within their own lives. He has always possessed a sense of adventure and experienced life through the lens of many perspectives.

From the tranquility of fly fishing and his love of nature and travel abroad, to the joy of time with his children and grandchildren, Rhys’s creative expression came alive in his 70’s when he began painting.  Soon family and friends were enjoying his newfound talent and many beautiful creations.

Rhys and Lynn spent much of their retired life on Vancouver Island. In recent years they made the shift to the heart of Vancouver, enjoying the buzz of city life and the ability to explore downtown on foot or take transit where they fancied. When the time was right, Rhys moved into The Lodge and was warmly welcomed as a member of our community. Amid the challenges of the last year, his family is delighted that he is in good hands at SGPL and thanks to such great care is still flying high.

Meaningful Lives: Mrs. Micheline Gill

Our Circle, Winter 2021

The richness of Mrs. Micheline Gill’s life could easily be summed up in one word… love. Love of family and friends. Love of language. And love of life.

Born in Belgium in 1921, Micheline grew up with warm, wonderful parents who encouraged her to embrace languages at an early age and she quickly learned Dutch, German and English in addition to her native French. Her studies at the University of Liege soon saw her working as a translator in Paris following WWII. It was here that she met and fell in love with her husband, Jamie, and they were married soon after.

“I adored his moustache,” she recalls fondly.  “He winked at me, and that was it!” Work took them to Germany and various places in Europe before they settled in Vancouver in the 1950’s.

The Gills embraced their new home but brought it an international flare and cultivated a diverse group of friends. Micheline’s work in developing Vancouver’s Alliance Française and her leadership as its President, saw her awarded the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government in 1995, and the title “Dame Gill”.

MEANINGFUL

LIVES

...Are the result of many meaningful days! Our Lodge philosophy honours and encourages every resident to continue their life story. We look forward to sharing some of those stories on these pages and hope you will enjoy the photos and experiences of our amazing seniors.

Never parted from her beloved Jamie until his passing in 2001, Micheline was nevertheless surprised by details he shared before his death. Revealing that he had been part of England’s famed MI6 during the war was rather eye opening... and something straight out of a James Bond movie. When asked if Jamie was the spy who loved her, she chuckles, “Yes, I suppose he was.”

Today, Mrs. Gill is a savvy and stylish member of the South Granville Park Lodge family and is known for her love of opera and the perfectly chilled Stella Artois she enjoys with dinner every evening. Friends are eagerly anticipating her 100th birthday in February which is certain to be another important part of her vibrant and meaningful life.

 

Our Circle, Summer 2020

Just Like Home

Many areas of The Lodge are welcoming and lively places, but nothing says home like our own space.  Some residents enjoy being surrounded with books and favourite collectibles, others with wonderful artwork and cherished souvenirs. At SGPL we love showcasing our different styles and encourage our seniors to decorate their rooms with a lifetime of memories. Come cozy up with us!

 

Our Circle, Summer 2020

Virtual Visits

Talk. Chat. Converse. Speak. Gab. Whatever we call it, it means staying connected. Our Director of Recreation, Carol Ganotisi, and our Director of Community Services, Nicholas Candaele, have been busy lately making sure our Lodge residents can do just that. Along with activity coordinators, Jennifer and Aariah, they have been setting up phone and video calls with friends and family on a regular basis over the past few months. Whether enjoying a virtual tour of a garden, seeing a family pet or just hearing grandchildren on the end of the line, the conversations always bring comfort and smiles.

While juggling her many duties, Carol has been arranging calls between residents and family members.  Coordinating everyone can be a bit of a challenge but she is glad of the task.  “It’s heartwarming to see everyone connect,” she says. “It’s really touching.”
In another area of The Lodge, Nicholas has been doing similarly. “FaceTime, WhatsApp, and other types of video calls are ideal these days,” he confirms.  “I love setting up whole family visits on Zoom and seeing residents light up with joy when they see their loved ones.” It’s not the same as getting together in person but it still brings such happiness. And while real visits aren’t too far off, it’s nice to know we can reach out safely with the touch of a button too.

Socializing From a Distance

Our Circle, Spring 2020

A virtual visit? Social distancing? In these rapidly changing times, these phrases are quickly being added to our everyday vocabulary. So how do we still stay emotionally connected to our friends and loved ones when it’s not an option to give them a good old fashioned hug. At The Lodge we are embracing new behaviors instead of each other and welcoming new technology into the lives of our seniors. Whether it’s a wave from the window or an online sing-along or a video call with family via cellphone or computer, we are finding new methods of staying in touch and sharing special moments.
 

One Big Family

Our Circle, Winter 2020

Whether it’s sharing food and stories, dancing or playing games, on the job or off, everyone who is part of SGPL brings the same enthusiasm to everything they do. The staff party was a chance to bust loose and reconnect as one big family.

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Around The Lodge

Our Circle, Summer 2019

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The friendship room, the patio, the dining room… these are just a few of the places that bring our Lodge family together. These spaces are what allow us to congregate and share delicious food, creative hobbies, and physical activity. More importantly these spaces are what allow us to share time with each other. Recent renovations have made many of these areas more contemporary, functional and just down right beautiful. Our patio, now a flowering oasis, offers a sunny spot to sit and enjoy nature or conversation with a companion. Our dining room with its abundance of natural light and adjacent reading nook, provides a place to have a delicious meal with friends, be entertained in the afternoons, or settle in with a good book. Even our entrance is an area that creates memories as we head out for adventures and walks or welcome visitors. We hope you will enjoy these scenes from Around the Lodge that show how we interact with our home and each other on a daily basis.

Then and Now

Our Circle, Spring 2019

A 50th anniversary is a time to reflect on all the wonderful experiences that have been shared through the years. And here at The Lodge, many of our caring staff have been a part of our family for as long as we can remember. As we celebrate 50 years of memories, look back at our old photographs and add new ones to the album, it’s easy to see the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Assistant Administrator Doreen Buksh-Khan at reception circa 1984 and today.

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Cynthia Meszaros, Leonard Madore and past Director of Administration, Deborah Tobias.

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Staff, Nurses and Care Aides in the 80s, and 2019.

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2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of South Granville Park Lodge. Since opening its doors in 1969, The Lodge has provided a warm, caring environment for both the seniors it serves and the many people that provide those services.  This winter, we celebrated both the past and the present by acknowledging the care aides, nurses, coordinators and staff who have worked  to make The Lodge a place that so many have called home over the years. Amid awards, presentations and heartfelt speeches, everyone paused to share stories, enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner and a slice (or two!) of cake. Colleagues and coworkers had fun posing for pictures with beloved Administrator, Jeremy Sicherman and the evening wouldn’t have been complete without a group picture. With such an amazing history and wonderful team, it’s easy to see what the next 50 years will bring.

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50 Years Young

The Lodge celebrates 50 years of gracious retirement living

Our Circle, Winter 2018

Owner Jeremy Sicherman cuts the cake.

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It comes as no surprise that South Granville Park Lodge feels more like home than a care facility. And that is because The Lodge is a family in the truest sense. Having begun as the vision of Jack Sicherman in 1969, The Lodge has been a place to call home for many families over the years, including the Sichermans themselves. Grandson Jeremy is now at the helm, and proud to be there.

 “My grandfather was a holocaust survivor who came to Canada with no money and no family,” says Jeremy, “He worked hard… all the time.” As children, Jeremy and his sister would spend three or four months each year with their grandparents, and that meant sharing time at The Lodge.

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A Place to Call Home

A Little SGPL History

Our Circle, Fall 2018

South Granville Park Lodge, circa 1969

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“He brought me to work with him in his big, blue van,” Jeremy recalls. “Never mind I didn’t have a seatbelt… I didn’t even have a seat,” he says, describing how he sat in the rear tire well in the cargo area. Despite his youth, there was always something he could do to help out at The Lodge. “For years I’d come and push residents around the block in their wheelchairs or hang out with Teresa, our bookkeeper,” he says. “And over time he gave me more responsibility.”

The remainder of Jeremy’s education came in the form of a degree in Business Operations as well as a diploma in Health Care Management which he completed before assuming his role as administrator in 1997. Today, being part of a family business is still one of the most important things to him.

“The collective community that we have created over the years, together with our staff and families, is uniquely special.”

So what does the future hold for South Granville Park Lodge? Well considering that there are more Sichermans growing up around SGPL it’s not surprising that they think it will stay a family venture and Jeremy hopes his son will inherit the same love for the business that he has.

Founder Jack would be proud to hear his grandson speak with such passion about the business he so lovingly built, and prouder still to see his successor not only maintains but continues to improve and develop both The Lodge building itself and the programs and level of care it offers.

“My grandfather lived, worked, and died here, surrounded by the family he was instrumental in creating. By the end of his life he had a beautiful large family to honour the memory of the one he lost.”

In January of 2019, The Lodge will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. “Together with my Lodge family I’m going to try and cherish the next 50, and leave behind a home we can all be proud of.”


 

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SGPL founder, Jack Sicherman. South Granville Park Lodge, 2018. Owner, Jeremy Sicherman