After a couple of hot and sunny weeks, the forecast said showers, but that did not deter the staff at Farraline Place from aiming for an outdoor garden party on Aug. 8.
“We prayed and prayed for a good day, and everything is perfect,” said home administrator Judy O’Donnell.
Indeed, the day was perfect for a garden party — light winds, low humidity and a cloud cover that kept the heat at bay. The annual party was well attended with residents and their families, board members, volunteers, staff and ACW members from all over the diocese.
Farraline Place is an ACW-owned seniors’ home in downtown Fredericton. It offers private room and board to seniors who want to live in a community setting.
The garden party is a much-anticipated event each summer for residents. Staff work very hard in the lead-up to the party to make the day perfect, said Judy.
The theme this year was Summer Carnival, with brightly coloured games for everyone to enjoy, a popcorn machine, a Polaroid camera for shots of residents and family, and a barbecue with hamburgers, potato salad and coleslaw, followed by cake and ice cream.
Councillor Eric Megarity brought greetings from the City of Fredericton. David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and the MLA for the downtown riding, was away attending the funeral of Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, but his mother, Iris, and brother, Bill, were on hand to represent him.
Board chair Sharon Simms addressed the crowd.
“I want to thank the residents, family and friends,” she said. “Without them there would be no need to have this garden party.”
She also thanked the North Side Lions Club for their annual donation that helps fund the garden party, but even so, the budget at the home is tight.
“We are a non-government funded organization. Our rental rates are modest, which means we rely on donations,” said Sharon. “I want to thank the ACW for their donations to help us meet our expenses.”
The Very Rev. Geoffrey Hall, dean of Christ Church Cathedral just around the corner, greeted the guests and prayed a blessing on the food and the day.
Diocesan ACW president Linda Fury was a first-time visitor to the garden party.
“The food is delicious,” she said. “I’m very glad I came. I loved the entertainment. I’m very impressed.”
The Calithumpians, a summer theatre group, provided the entertainment. Ten young musicians performed several songs for the crowd, who seems to love the music.
Most of the songs were familiar tunes from the past 50 years, with new lyrics to suit such events as the 50th anniversary of bilingualism in New Brunswick, and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.
For example, they took the Shania Twain hit, “Man, I feel like a woman” and changed the last word to “voter.”
The troupe used tambourines, ukuleles, a keyboard, a dulcimer, bongos, a cowbell and a base guitar for their music, with many performers playing multiple instruments during the performance.
At the end of the party, Judy was very pleased with how the afternoon had unfolded.
“The residents enjoyed it,” she said. “I always watch their faces.”
1. A wide shot of the afternoon's activities.
2. The Calithumpians perform to a large crowd who enjoyed the performance.
3. Volunteer Charile Wright was on barbecue duty once again this year.
4. Staff member Victoria Kavanaugh ready with meals for guests, residents and family members.