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Castor’s Paintearth Lodge celebrates diamond anniversary

A Castor institution recently celebrated its diamond anniversary in the community.
Around 150 people were in attendance at the Paintearth Lodge’s 60th anniversary celebration. (Kevin Sabo/ Castor Advance)

A Castor institution recently celebrated its diamond anniversary in the community.

Castor’s Paintearth Lodge, a board-run seniors’ residence in the community, was constructed at the time when John G. Diefenbaker passed off the role of Prime Minister of Canada to Lester B. Pearson, Cleopatra, The Great Escape, and The Sword in the Stone were in theatres and the Beatles were still on the music charts.

In recognition of 60 years of continuous operation, the board, staff, and residents of the lodge held a community celebration on Aug. 17, featuring several delegates from both the local municipalities and provincial government officials.

Around 150 people crowded into the lodge’s common area for the ceremony which started just after 2 p.m.

Paintearth Lodge manager Trudy Kilner opened the ceremony, where the first item of business was singing O Canada before holding a moment of silence in memory of the board members, staff, and residents who had come before.

After the moment of silence, Kilner passed things off to the Master of Ceremonies for the afternoon, Castor and District Housing Authority chair George Glazier. Unable to attend in person, Glazier read a letter from Battle River — Crowfoot MP Damien Kurek who congratulated the facility’s milestone.

Representatives from the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association and the Government of Alberta Ministry of Housing then had the opportunity to offer their congratulations before the mayors of the local communities that partner in operating the lodge took to the podium.

Paintearth County Reeve Stan Schulmeister started off, by noting how fortunate the community was to have a facility like the lodge. Castor Mayor Richard Elhard, Coronation deputy Mayor Ron Checkel and Village of Halkirk deputy Mayor Dale Kent all echoed those sentiments.

Another theme noted in the speeches was how great the lodge looks considering its age, something which can be directly attributed to the care and professionalism of the staff working there.

Before the ceremony closed, Castor-area resident Walter Weber came forward to dedicate a picture painted for the facility in memory of former and long-time manager Sylvia Wold.

To bring the ceremony to a close, the Paintearth Lodge choir came forward and sang Bless This House, after which lodge resident Clayton Richardson came forward to offer a blessing on the meal.

Everyone in attendance was asked to stay for a light luncheon after the ceremony, and facility tours showcasing newly renovated and expanded rooms were offered by staff.

Paintearth Lodge had seen vacancy challenges during the pandemic; however, according to staff, the vacancy rate has dropped from around 50 per cent at its worst to 25 per cent over the last few months.

Shahid Karamat brings greetings to Paintearth Lodge from the Government of Alberta as board chair George Glazier looks on. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Board chair George Glazier acted as Master of Ceremonies for the Paintearth Lodge 60th anniversary celebration. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Walter and Veronica Weber provided the accompanying music for O Canada. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Lodge Manager Trudy Kilner welcomes the crowd to the lodge anniversary celebration. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
After the ceremony, community members were invited to remain at the lodge for a light lunch and facility tours. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Prior to the conclusion of the 60th anniversary ceremony, the Paintearth Lodge Choir sang for the 150 or so community members attending the celebration. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
This painting was dedicated to the memory of long-time lodge manager Sylvia Wold. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Deputy Mayor Dale Kent brings greetings on behalf of the Village of Halkirk. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Deputy Mayor Ron Checkel brings greetings on behalf of the Town of Coronation. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Castor Mayor Richard Elhard says a few words to the assembled community members at the Paintearth Lodge 60th anniversary celebration. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Reeve Stan Schulmeister brings greetings from Paintearth County. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Board Chair George Glazier and lodge manager Trudy Kilner receive a recognition certificate from ASCHA representative Michelle Swanson. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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