As the Lake Windermere Lions Club celebrates 60 years of active service to the community, it seems timely to relate the history of one of their major projects.
Most residents of this valley know the “Manor” or have at least heard of this residence situated on Tunnacliffe Heights in Invermere. However, the majority do not know the story of how and why this rental facility came into being.
Way back in the 1970s, the local Lions Club members could see that there was a need in our community for a comfortable residence for our senior citizens who could not afford high rents.
With this knowledge and more, gleaned from a community survey, they set to work developing a strategy to provide affordable housing for the elderly.
President Henry DeLesalle formed a working committee of Lions Club members which became known as the Lake Windermere Senior Citizens Association. This group of men dedicated many hours of their time to planning the location, funding and construction of the facility.
No doubt the Ladies Lions were on hand giving advice and moral support when the project seemed very slow in coming to completion. Their support continues each Christmas when the Lady Lions prepare and serve a wonderful festive dinner for all the residents of the Manor.
In May 1975 the Lake Windermere Senior Citizens Association was officially registered under the Societies Act and listed as directors were: Larry Root, Jim Stone, Fred Carscadden, Doug Kipp, Mike Hubbard, Phil Geiger, Stan Caspell, Chris Madson and Henry DeLesalle. Larry Root remained a director for thirty-two years and Phil Geiger for 26 years.
The name of the Society changed in August 1996 to the shorter and more appropriate “Lakeview Manor Society”.
The society oversees the management of the Manor and is a nonprofit organization comprised of nine volunteer directors, some of whom are Lions Club members. Until this year, the directors have handled all tasks related to the building, however, a building manager has now been hired to supervise the smooth running of Lakeview Manor.
When the Manor was built there were 14 one bedroom suites and 10 studio suites. Ten years ago the studio suites were extended to become one bedroom suites.
The vacancy rate has been virtually nonexistent since opening and at times the waiting list has exceeded capacity. That is not the case today, as vacancies are not always quickly filled.
The object of our society is for “the purpose of assisting elderly citizens and others deemed deserving to obtain low cost housing accommodation.” Therefore, potential eligible residents who may apply for tenancy, can be 55 years or older. Their income must meet the limits set by the Society and B.C. Housing. The board welcomes more applications and if you think you may qualify please pick up an application form in the foyer of the Manor.
One of our tenants of11 years, Alice Tegart, is very pleased with her suite and praises the calm and quiet atmosphere.
“The premises are always very clean both inside and out and any problems are quickly sorted out by the manager,” she says. Alice’s love of plants is very evident in the building as she maintains a beautiful assortment of African violets for the enjoyment of all the other flower lovers.
Our current focus is on the acquisition of a lift for the building.
The need is becoming more and more essential for those persons living on the second level. As our residents and potential tenants age, the stairs are becoming too great a challenge for many of them.
With this in mind, the board of directors is seriously investigating the cost of installation of a Medi-Chair lift (elevator) designed for this specific application.
Ray Crook, well known for his knowledge of local history, is another happy tenant. He will be much happier when an elevator eases the effort of stair climbing.
Ray’s love of birds is undeterred by apartment living as the balcony is embraced in the branches of an ornamental crabapple tree providing ample food and shelter for the many birds visiting Ray’s feeding station. The trunk of a small tree, well larded with peanut butter pudding and secured on the deck, is much favoured by Downy and Pileated woodpeckers as well as Flickers. Ray loves to watch the friendly birds through his living room doors and no doubt his neighbours are similarly delighted by these feathered friends.
At our April AGM we were very sorry to receive the resignation of four directors, two of whom were longtime board members. Larry Root retired as president after thirty two years in office.
Other presidents have been Jim Ashworth and George Lucko.
The new, and fourth, president of the Society is Sara Worley and her board of directors consists of Doug Leibel, vice president; Eileen Fiell, secretary; Steve Fitch, admissions; Alice Tegart and Mary Ann Bergen, in-house directors; Herb Seel; Hans Stettler and Denis Zuk.
If you have never been in Lakeview Manor and would like a tour, please feel free to call any one of our directors or Phil Gillard, manager, who will be happy to show you around.