Valentine’s Day sparks wedding memories for United residents
Weddings are a special time, and anniversaries are a time for families and friends to honour those who continue to share their lives together. That idea sparked the creation of a photo display at United’s Fish Creek art gallery.
Nick and Diane Jongeling, who live at Fish Creek were planning for their 60th when they hit upon an interesting idea. “Our 60th wedding anniversary is coming up and we were talking with creative facilitator Amy Bouchard about our plans,” said Diane. “While we were talking, we showed her our wedding photo and thought it would be wonderful to see the wedding photos of others.”
Amy spoke with other residents and put together a gallery of wedding photos on display in the art gallery outside the art studio, and invited everyone to see if they could guess who the residents are from the photos.
“Many of our program ideas come from the residents, so this one also fit well with our philosophy about resident engagement, person-centred care, and autonomy,” said Amy. “It is a great example of how a simple idea or conversation can grow into a large inclusive community collaboration.”
“We were married in Holland,” said Diane, “and Nick suggested on our second date that we consider emigrating, so we got married in 1962 and came to Canada that year.”
For others who have been married a long time, Diane had some advice. “Always remember what attracted you to the person in the first place. For me, it was Nick’s interest in always helping others.”
When guessing who the residents are in the gallery, Diane said it was very hard in some cases because people have changed so much over the years. “We had a lot of fun guessing which photo belonged to which resident. There were a lot of stories and laughter as everyone reminisced about the weddings.”
Another 60th anniversary belongs to Dennis and Peggy Castellino, who moved into Fish Creek in September. “We had a traditional British wedding in Karachi, Pakistan in 1962,” said Peggy. “Our families grew up together, so Dennis and I were always hanging out. I think our parents were a bit surprised when we started to date.” When they emigrated to Calgary in 1970, Dennis landed a job with PanCanadian Petroleum.
Peggy volunteered on the Board of Father Lacombe Care Centre and did a six-year stint as Chair of the Board, and Dennis joined the Knights of Columbus and was one of the pioneers in setting up nearby St. Mary’s University. “I knew about plans to build United’s Fish Creek community because we worked nearby. I heard good things about it so we decided to move here.”
Peggy thinks the idea of the wedding gallery is a wonderful one. “It’s interesting to see the different wedding outfits and talk with other residents about the different ways people were married. It brought a lot of people together. Even though we are new here and couldn’t recognize the young people in the photos, we had a great time talking with the others about their lives.”
Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.
Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!
To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.