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.
A Message from Paul
Our Circle, Fall 2020
There is no better time to enjoy a walk than in the fall. Here at The Lodge, our activity coordinators are busy helping many residents enjoy the autumn colours with walks around the South Granville neighbourhood. It’s a welcome activity we can all embrace during these times of social distancing.
When not outside, our residents have been reconnecting with family in one of our private, main floor visiting rooms. These spacious rooms provide a safe area to greet a loved one and catch up on news while still following the rules laid out by our Health Authorities. In this issue of Our Circle we have included tips on how to properly wear masks (page 10) so everyone can do their part to keep themselves and their family members healthy. With proper adherence to the guidelines as set out by our provincial public health teams, we hope we will be able to continue offering these in-person visits at The Lodge.
We are working hard to keep our Lodge family safe from any new outbreaks and hope that you will join us in that effort by refraining from visiting if you are experiencing any COVID symptoms like a scratchy throat, runny nose, fever or cough. If in doubt, please monitor your symptoms and wait until you are completely well before scheduling a visit. Rest assured that all our staff and residents are assessed daily and tested for signs of infection. We know that with everyone’s support we can get through the coming winter months safely.
Paul Woodhouse, Director of Administration
Meaningful Lives: Mrs. Marilyn Osborne
Our Circle, Fall 2020
20 years. That’s how long Mrs. Marilyn Osborne has been part of the South Granville Park Lodge family. And over those twenty years we’ve shared a host of activities, special events and celebrations and learned many amazing things about her life. We are so glad to be sharing them with you here as part of our Meaningful Lives series.
Born in 1932 in the small town of Digby, Nova Scotia, Marilyn (then Campbell) was the youngest of four children. After high school, she began work as a secretary and soon found a position with a local doctor. While still very young, Marilyn was stricken with polio but didn’t let that stop her dream of competing in the provincial Apple Blossom Festival. Only two years after her illness, she was selected from the other ‘princesses’ in the communities and, with much pomp and ceremony, crowned Queen Annapolisa XX.
...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.
On the heels of her two older sisters, Marilyn soon moved west to Vancouver where she met and married her husband Dr. John Osborne, the head of Diagnostic Services in the Cardiology Department at Vancouver General Hospital. Ever concerned for the welfare of others, she embraced a multitude of volunteering positions within the community while raising two children.
True to her small-town roots, Marilyn has always been open and welcoming, making her a happy addition to The Lodge at the start of the new millennium. Despite the health issues that brought her to SGPL, she is always in the front row of our musical performances and is known for her love of opera and classical music.
“Now that I’ve retired, it’s my profession to listen to music,” she quips. Keen to keep up on current events, she is the first to engage in lively conversations about politics and world news as well. More than anything, Marilyn is devoted to her family and is beloved by her two children and their partners living on the Sunshine Coast, her two grandchildren, now attending university, and her two step grandchildren in elementary school. During this unique time, they have stayed connected through Facetime, phone calls and distance visits while eagerly anticipating the day when they can all enjoy family gatherings and live concerts again!
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
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.
Our Circle, Spring 2020
Socializing From a Distance
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.
Around The Lodge
Our Circle, Summer 2019
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.
Assistant Administrator Doreen Buksh-Khan at reception circa 1984 and today.
Cynthia Meszaros, Leonard Madore and past Director of Administration, Deborah Tobias.
Staff, Nurses and Care Aides in the 80s, and 2019.
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.
50 Years Young
The Lodge celebrates 50 years of gracious retirement living
Our Circle, Winter 2018
Owner Jeremy Sicherman cuts the cake.
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.
A Place to Call Home
A Little SGPL History
South Granville Park Lodge, circa 1969
Our Circle, Fall 2018
“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.”
SGPL founder, Jack Sicherman. South Granville Park Lodge, 2018. Owner, Jeremy Sicherman