There was plenty of music and good cheer as Ellery House celebrated its 10th birthday this week at Castlemaine Health. Ellery House has been home to hundreds of much-loved residents through the years and this birthday bash was a joyous chance for residents, families and staff to celebrate their histories and time together.
With formal speeches from the CEO, Ian Fisher, Pastoral Care Coordinator Danni Moore and Ellery House’s Nurse Unit Manager Sue Nicholson, guests were treated to a dash of history and the chance to reflect on the deep emotional bonds that so many residents, families, friends and staff have with Ellery House. Local musician Jeanette Gillespie, Michael Kuhle and the Ellery House Choir added their voices and musical talent to the afternoon.
It was ‘impossible to do justice’ to Ellery House in this brief time, said Danni. It’s a place with long, complex ties with great joy and deep grief’. Ellery House’s Assistant Nurse Unit Manager and event MC for the afternoon Sally Morgan said: “As carers, we gain so much from our interactions with residents. Their histories are so rich and diverse. They add so much to our lives.”
Sue Nicholson’s moving message to residents read:
You’re a collection of all your years,
Your stories, your glories,
Your troubles and tears.
Tales of a century live in your eyes.
You are decades wise.
You’re a connection
To faraway places
That live in our thoughts
Of good times, and dear faces
Your history shines in you,
Fills you with light.
You are so many years bright.
You’re a reflection of all that you’ve known,
Of people who’ve loved you,
Of kindness you’ve shown.
For all that you are,
And for all that you do,
We feel privilege and pride to be
Caring for you.
The roads you’ve walked,
The suns you’ve seen,
The joys you’ve gathered in between,
The years you’ve lived and all they mean.
Guests enjoyed some classic, musical favourites such as Long Way to Tipperary, Dean Martin’s Sway With Me and Edelweiss. A poetry reading from Ellery resident and internationally published poet Maurice Strandgard’s ‘An Apology Without Reservation to the Wolf, The Bear, and the Mole’ delighted all. Formalities concluded with a charity auction of a beautiful hand sewn Japanese Kimono jacket to raise money for Ellery House.
So happy birthday Ellery House – and thank you.