Editor: The story about Beach Grove Home proposing a project that could benefit both residents and children brought back memories of an incredible journey that two wonderful friends, Cheryl Ford, Carolyn MacIsaac and myself experienced during 1980-1985.
It was then that we opened our onter-generational child care centre, Ever-Young Centre for Learning, next door to the previous Beach Grove Home. Offering both kindergarten and child care, our dream was to bring both children and seniors together in love and harmony, and that is exactly what we did over the next five years.
The White House, as it was known then, was a magical home for our centre, where both young and old alike would gather regularly for story time, music, art activities, carpentry, or perhaps, “just a little visit”.
Only a stone’s throw away from Beach Grove, it was the perfect pathway for both big and little feet. It overlooked a beautiful green space that was untouched and pure, with trees to climb and water to dip your toes in. A perfect child's dream.
This was the ideal spot to build our playground, where our senior friends could watch the children at play. There were continuous special and beautiful memories:
Seniors who rarely left their rooms began to join us on our daily visits, perhaps to just tie a shoelace or give a gentle hug. Exercise classes became more exciting when the little ones joined in.
Friendships blossomed. Children adopted grandparents they didn't have, and invited them to their homes for visits and Christmas dinner.
There were walks together, wheelchair rides, picnics, birthday celebrations, Christmas concerts, Ivan ‘The Bubblegum Man’, acceptance, caring, family. A touch of a hand, a tear to dry, a smile, a laugh, and above all
else, mostly love.
Sadly, the demolition of Beach Grove Home caused our centre to close. How exciting it would be to see “little feet” running there again.