Parents, students and supporters of Riverside Consolidated School are celebrating the District Education Council's decision of June 9, 2015. Not only will the school be kept open, but Riverside Consolidated will be spared from having to undergo another sustainability study for at least the next four years.
To learn more about how the school was saved, see the attached article (reprinted with permission from Rural Delivery) and read more on Connecting Albert County's Culture and Heritage page.
FDH 35th Anniversary
Wed June 3,
1:30 – 3:30 pm
A special occasion occurred at Forest Dale Home on Wed June 3, a 35th Anniversary Open House. This was attended by many from the community.
There was a bit of a formal program at the beginning of the celebration. Board Chair, Barb Sinclair, welcomed everyone with the remarks below:
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 35 years since the original Home opened. A lot of work by politicians and community members went into the construction of the first home and it served the residents well until the building of our new Home completed 4 years ago. There have been a lot of other changes in all those 35 years, particularly in residents needs and staff requirements. In 1980 most of the residents were more mobile than today. The increased need for accessibility was a primary factor in the construction of this new Home. However, at all times our aim is to improve the Home in whatever way possible to make it better for both residents and staff.
Forest Dale Home is more than a place for people to live. They open their doors to the community for hair dressing services, foot care, hearing aid services and general community events. It is a place where the community can gather sharing stories and local news.
The Board of Directors donated a flowering crab tree for the 35th Anniversary. Resident, Jack Estabrooks, shovelled the first soil in around the tree while Board members watched.
Many have passed through Forest Dale’s doors over the years and been involved in some way in the life of the Home – residents and their family members, staff and other service providers, and volunteers including Board members. Some of you are here today.
For 35 years Forest Dale has been the major employer in the Riverside-Albert area. As such it is important to the community, but the community is also important to the Home. We encourage community use of our facility for meetings and events especially if the residents can be involved in some way. This room is ideal for community activities with accessibility and plenty of parking.
The importance of community was very evident recently in the “Save Our School” campaign. We were proud to do our part by making a presentation to the District Education Council along with many others. The School is having an Open House tomorrow from 6-8 pm to celebrate the success of that effort and to continue the ongoing discussion about what comes next to ensure the school is maintained in our community. Forest Dale will continue to welcome students to mingle and interact with the residents on a regular basis, both from Riverside Consolidated and Caledonia Regional. Both the students and residents gain a lot from these intergenerational activities.
Hopefully Forest Dale will continue to be an integral part of this area of Albert County for many more years to come. The journey of life is uncertain. We never know when we or one of our family members will require the care provided here. So it is in all our best interests to make Forest Dale the best we possibly can. “
The Administrator, Vicki Caissie, introduced and presented flowers to two loyal 35 year employees who are retiring this month. Both have been employed at the Home since it first opened in 1980. Susan Chase, a nurse, is currently the Director of Care. Nancy Weston Kendrick has held a number of positions in the Home and is currently the Activity Coordinator. Both will be missed.
A staff photo, as well as numerous other photos, were taken by Kevin Snair to commemorate the occasion.
The rest of the afternoon was spent mingling, eating and listening to music. Darlene Douthwright played the piano in the Great Room; the resident’s Hand Bell Choir gave a recital in the Mountainside dining room and Andrew LeFrancois played his guitar in the Marshview dining room.
A good time was had by visitors, residents, and staff.