GORE BAY – A staff member and resident of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay have been recognized for their tremendous efforts and making a difference at the Lodge, with prestigious awards through Jarlette Health Services (JHS).
A celebration was held last Friday at the Lodge for both Lodge employee Guru Pisad, who was nominated for the Roberta Jarlette Award, and Lodge resident Shirley De’Chevigny, who was selected for a Making a Difference Award. Both had been nominated by Lodge staff.
The celebration marked the 14th year the Making a Difference Awards were held locally. A country theme was used for the celebration, with Lodge staff and some residents in cowboy hats and boots.
Sue Farren, Lodge administrator, welcomed everyone to the celebration, followed by activities co-ordinator Gloria Hall delivering speeches for the two award winners.
“Guru Pisad came to Canada in 2013,” said Ms. Hall. “He went to Toronto and got his RPN at Humber College. Then looking for experience he went to Thunder Bay and started his career in long-term care.”
“Then, two years ago he saw an advertisement for full-time employment at Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay. So off he went,” said Ms. Hall. “It is a good thing he got a job in nursing and didn’t pursue his acting career,” she said, noting “he has done some ads for Ikea.”
“Guru is becoming an Islander and he takes amazing photos and posts them to promote our amazing Island and God’s country,” continued Ms. Hall.
Ms. Hall noted that Mr. Pisad, “is caring, empathic, soft spoken, humble, kind and very professional. He is compassionate and the residents all love him. They light up when they see him enter their room.”
“He has been a great help with the RIA-MDS, taking additional training to be able to help in Scott’s absence.”
“He is so gentle, all the staff hope to see him doing the COVID swabbing,” said Ms. Hall. She noted Mr. Pisad, “is very proud of his car and takes great care of it, being very particular in who drives it. His girlfriend Piku is taking driving lessons and he has a friend teaching her to drive, but not in his car. Maybe she will soon.”
Ms. Hall noted that Guru is also learning to swim, having gone to Espanola for lessons all last winter, “hoping to be able to swim in one of the many lakes here on Manitoulin.”
“It gives me great pleasure to nominate this very deserving staff member (who was nominated by Lodge employees for the award) for the Roberta Jarlette Award,” said Ms. Hall.
“One final thought. Guru has a smile that will brighten any room. Unfortunately, we barely see it due to the mask (being worn during the pandemic) but he is learning to smile with his eyes,” added Ms. Hall.
Then came the presentation of the Making a Difference Award to Ms. De’Chevigny.
“Every year we are asked a very hard question,” said Ms. Hall. “Who are we nominating for the Making a Difference Award this year? But it was easier this year as everyone agreed it should be Shirley.”
“Let me tell you a little about this amazing lady,” continued Ms. Hall. “Shirley entered this world on February 11, 1941 to parents Len and Elsie (Middleton) Lewis. She was a member of a large family. First came the five girls—Mildred, Audrey, Leah, Pat and Shirley, then they thought they needed some brothers so along came Doug, Gordy, Ken, Gary, Erwin and Merlin. Shirley attended the one-room Grimesthorpe Public School.”
“With such a large family she spent a lot of time helping around the farm and doing a lot of dishes, which surprisingly she still enjoys doing today,” explained Ms. Hall. “Throughout her life family and friends have always been important to her. She was always lending a helping hand to anyone who needed it. She loves and cherishes the time spent with her loved ones.”
“When her children Jeff, Tim, Mike and Melanie were growing up, Shirley worked from home and babysat for many,” said Ms. Hall. She was also busy cooking, cleaning and baking. Always there to help anyone who needed it. Today, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren Derrick and Mallory.
“Shirley enjoys playing cards, games and doing puzzles. You can always find her working on a word search puzzle,” continued Ms. Hall. She also loves to cook and bake, which she is really good at, and enjoys hosting family gatherings and dinners.
“As an older adult, she moved back to Manitoulin,” said Ms. Hall. “During this time she helped out with the dinners for the Gore Bay Lions Club with her sister and brother-in-law. She would also help with teas and to sell tickets for the hospital auxiliary with her sister-in-law.”
“Since moving into Manitoulin Lodge Shirley is always looking for ways to help,” said Ms. Hall. “She says she would rather be busy. The courtyard looks lovely thanks to Shirley and her friends. The birds are happy and so is our friendly chipmunk; Shirley and friend Mamie have trained the chipmunk to remove peanuts from under their feet.”
“Before COVID-19 Shirley helped with special events and meals. She would help with getting the bingo set up. Recently she started a new job in the dining room making sure the salt and pepper shakers are on the tables and helping to fold laundry.”
“It gives me great pleasure to present this award to such a happy-go-lucky lady who has a smile that lights up the whole room. Congratulations, Shirley. We thank you for all your care and support.”
Jarlette Health Services annually makes a donation of $100 on behalf of the person who receives this award. Ms. De’Chevigny wanted the donation made to the Angel Bus.