Manitoulin Lodge resident presented with Making a Difference Award

Jimmy Howard, left, a resident of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home, is presented with the ‘Making a Difference Award’ by Gloria Hall of the Lodge.

GORE BAY—Jimmy Howard has been presented with the “Making a Difference Award” for his efforts and in recognition of his contributions to make the lives of fellow residents of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay better.

“This award is presented to a resident of the Manitoulin Lodge who has and continues to make a difference in the lives of our residents,” stated Gloria Hall, of the Lodge at ceremony held recently. “It is always a hard task of choosing someone as some residents can do more than other’s. We chose a resident who can been found in the front foyer welcoming and greeting everyone who visits the Lodge.”

“Jimmy was born on November 25, 1950,” said Ms. Hall. “He is the oldest son of Alf and Leta Howard.” He lived on the family farm on Lakeshore Road in Kagawong and has 10 siblings (four sisters and six brothers).

“Jimmy went to S.S. Billings Public School before attending the Flower of Hope in Gore Bay,” said Ms. Hall. “There he was taught life skills by Renie Noble and Eric Nicholson.”

“Jimmy, his brother Eddy and sister Marlene would ride on Norm Pierce’s school bus to the public school and then Norms’ wife May would drive them to Gore Bay,” explained Ms. Hall. “Jimmy went to the Flower of Hope for about four years.” The family then moved to Hillsburgh, Ontario to another farm. Although he did not go to school there, Jimmy worked very hard on the farm, she said.

“In 1983 Jimmy, Eddy, their mom and dad moved to the Mac Wright farm in Gordon township,” said Ms. Hall. “Jimmy and Eddy both went to the Hope Farm in Mindemoya. They rode the high school bus to M’Chigeeng then on to Mindemoya.” He then went to live at the Hope Farm, where he did a lot of chores.

After the farm program finished at the Hope Farm Mr. Howard moved to Sudbury to live with Solange Rochon on Woodbine Avenue. “Jimmy went to work at the Jarette Centre on Lorne Street for 28 years.”

Ms. Rochon also took he and other residents to both the Calgary Stampede and to Disney Land.

When Ms. Rochon was no longer able to care for Jimmy and Eddy, they got an apartment in the Shelley Heights area of Sudbury. “When Eddy was not well enough to share the apartment, Jimmy moved to Whitaker Street to live on his own,” said Ms. Hall. “Jimmy worked at the Jarrett Centre until 2014. His diabetes took a toll on his feet and legs. He then moved to St. Andrew’s Place on Larch Street. There he received home care.”

“Jimmy moved to the Lodge in February of 2015, and he has enjoyed being here,” said Ms. Hall. “He is very social and loves to talk to everyone. He has a great rapport with all the staff.” She pointed out Mr. Howard loves to play bingo and likes to win so he can get potato chips as his prize. He is also a big hockey fan.

“Jimmy worked hard in his younger years helping to make maple syrup, do haying and do lots of barn chores both at the home farms and at the Hope Farm,” continued Ms. Hall. “He likes to make sure the residents are happy. And he is a great help to the residents and staff. He likes to be busy. On newspaper day he is busy making sure the newspapers are delivered. He makes sure our home is beautifully decorated for special occasions. Baking is another of his many talents.”

“Jimmy has the nickname of ‘Our Manitoulin Lodge greeter’ as he greets everyone as they enter. He also keeps tabs on the television remote ensuring it is available to all to use,” said Ms. Hall. “He also likes to make and sell popcorn as some of you  have already enjoyed. Jimmy truly does make a difference in the lives of residents, family and community. Congratulations.”