“When’s the last time you were at a first birthday party? This is a milestone for The Elden.”
The speaker was Chad Axelrod, Director of Activities at The Elden of Bradford Retirement residence, as he welcomed residents and guests to the building’s first anniversary celebration, held Jan. 7.
The first resident to sign up for the new facility on Sideroad 10 back in 2018, even before construction was completed, was Bob Sturgeon. He was also a guest speaker at the party, providing a brief history of The Elden, a partnership between St. John’s Presbyterian Church and Bekerman Properties Inc.
“When St. John’s Presbyterian made the decision to move from the downtown area to the outskirts, it was decided to purchase enough property to accommodate a residence for seniors,” Sturgeon told the standing-room-only crowd.
The church purchased five acres of land on Sideroad 10, and partnered with Bekerman to make The Elden a reality, thanks to support from the Town of BWG through a Seniors Accommodation Community Improvement Plan.
Sturgeon attended three information sessions on the project before signing up. “I said, if I could have a corner suite on an upper floor, I would be a resident.”
Sturgeon became the first resident to move into the completed facility at “11:30 a.m. on Jan. 7, one year ago today,” he said. “It sure was stormy.”
Three residents moved in on that first day. Now, after a year, the building is filling up, and gaining a reputation as an “unretirement” community.
“The Elden is our home,” Sturgeon said. “We feel as if we’re one big family.”
The residence reminded him of Kincardine, which back in 1948 had a ‘Welcome’ sign that has stuck in his memory; it read, “You are a stranger only once.”
“The Elden could adopt that slogan,” Sturgeon said.
General Manager Brigitte Blair also spoke at the first-year anniversary. “It always seems as if we’re celebrating something at The Elden, and we are,” said Blair, “but anniversaries are something special.”
She promised that residents could look forward to “bigger and better things to come,” as the “beautiful building” of The Elden fills “with residents who are here to enjoy life.”
The party included a video, highlighting the events of the past year – from St. Patrick’s Day parties, to art classes, special trips and activities, visits from petting zoos and live entertainment.
There was also a champagne toast, and the afternoon wrapped up with music by The Beeton Boomers, an array of snacks and refreshments – and birthday cake.The Elden of Bradford is located at 3131 Line 8 in Bradford, at Sideroad 10. For more information click here.