If you have “… no home to go to – come here. The staff spoil us. In fact, it’s a little embarrassing you know”. These are the opening remarks of Mr.Gerald Bowen, a resident at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre (the Perley), during the reception mounted by the Ottawa Service Attachés Association (OSAA) at the Perley last night. OSAA is an association of the Defence Attachés from around the world and posted to Ottawa and who have taken the Perley under their wing to raise money and to try and make life better for the veterans served by the Perley.
"It's payback time." That's the explanation Louise Estwick gives when asked why she chose to donate to the Perley and Rideau Foundation in her will. Louise and her late husband Sam Estwick both devoted much of their lives to community service. "We always felt that we should do our part," she says simply.
A highlight of the summer was the visit of officers and crew from HMCS Ottawa, a Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate. During an afternoon tea held with resident Navy Veterans, the group presented a cheque for $15,480.54 to the Perley Rideau Foundation.
During a decades-long career in nursing and education, Marni Crossley had many experiences with end-of-life care. She recognizes that all of them helped her to grow both professionally and spiritually. This is particularly true for her husband’s end-of-life journey at the Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre.
The life of Bette Davis demonstrates the mix of self-reliance and community service that characterized her generation. Like many who grew up during the Depression, she learned to appreciate the value of a dollar. When she passed away, Bette capped off her busy and industrious life with a generous donation in her will to the Perley Rideau.
Peter Yarema loves poetry and regularly reads from the favourite volumes he keeps in his room at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. Now 95 years old, poetry has been a constant in Peter Yarema’s life – a life marked by service to his country, his community and his family.
For Becky and Arthur White, the 2016 move into the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre was just the latest step in the life journey they have shared for more than 70 years. They met in their early 20s, married while on leave from their units during the Second World War, and went on to raise three sons.