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Shawnessy Community resident Marguerite Dimmer from her time serving in the British Army and now. Sitting at a desk in England during the Second World War, Marguerite Dimmer did her part to help keep England safe from Nazi Germany, whether helping guide searchlights to spot enemy planes or coding and decoding secret messages, not unlike Keira Knightley’s character in the hit film The Imitation Game. With 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the War, the Shawnessy Community resident looks back on her time in the British Army with fondness and pride. “I was a nanny,” London-born Dimmer recalls. She turned 18 just after war broke out in September 1939 and volunteered right away. “I was one of the younger ones to join up.” After attending boot camp similar to that of male soldiers (“They marched us all over – they wanted to make us really tough,” she says), Dimmer was assigned switchboard duties with a searchlight unit on the English coast. Her task: relaying the directions of Nazi and Allied planes and becoming an expert in gauging degrees of cloud cover. “They didn’t have the equipment they do now,” she says. “There was always this big map and we had to

know which way the planes were going. It was exciting, but also scary – were they going to drop bombs where you were?” Dimmer – who met her husband, Cecil, in the service – also worked with the Royal Artillery and later moved into what she calls “the secret part,” where her job was to code and decode secret messages with important information. “It all came through a secret office on the telephone and I really needed to know shorthand!” she says. Dimmer says she had her share of close calls during the war. “My husband and I were out for a walk and he was taking me along the edge of the beach,” she recalls. “We were saying goodnight and suddenly he pushed me (down) and jumped in after me – not very far away a bomb exploded. He must have heard the plane coming.” Dimmer, who volunteered to go overseas, but was denied because she was married, says the contributions of those who provided support to fighting forces is not always recognized as much as it should be. “I’m proud of being a veteran,” she says.

DID YOU KNOW…? Silvera’s Community Resident Assistant Managers are currently completing an Alberta Senior Citizens Housing Association (ASCHA) Site Manager certificate program, running from June 2015 to April 2016. The course focus is on the effective management of seniors’ housing. It is a great learning opportunity for the Assistant Managers that will benefit residents and Silvera and

demonstrates Silvera’s commitment to continuous learning. The course is delivered both in a classroom setting and online, which means you may see the Assistant Manager taking the course on the computer in his or her office. If you see that the office door is closed or the Assistant Manager is working with a headset on, it would be appreciated if you could return at another time to speak to them.

SILVERA’S VALUES OUR PURPOSE To give seniors the respect they deserve and make it great to be a senior in Calgary.

OUR VALUES Service: Supporting residents’ wellbeing and quality of life. Respect: Honouring each other. Teamwork: Working proudly to OUR VISION Silvera will be the leading advocate become better together. and caring provider of affordable Safety: Committing to the safety of homes and services for seniors to our residents and colleagues. live in place with dignity. Creating Homes… By helping residents feel welcomed and connected. Follow us on: Making a Difference… In a caring way.

At Shawnessy Community’s Remembrance Day ceremony, veteran David Davidson stands proudly next to the Canadian flag with his two medals: the Victory and Service Medal.

SILVERA TIMES Silvera’s Community Newsletter - Winter 2015

A Year-End Message from the CEO

Second World War veteran and Westview resident, Bert Turner, stands tall next to his grandson who served in Afghanistan.

This is the time of year when we think back on the last 12 months, and remember the highs and the lows. As a charitable organization, Silvera is affected by what is happening in the world around us. This past year brought with it falling oil prices, historical shifts in provincial and federal governments, and increased food and living costs. For Silvera, this has meant lower corporate donations, lots of meetings with newly elected officials, and finding new ways to manage our budgets without high rental increases. Cherie Parry and Ann Traub visit the Field of Crosses along Memorial Drive.

Veterans Doreen Kamis, Arthur Antaya, and Robert Kok are recognized at Aspen Community’s Remembrance Day ceremony.

SILVERA VISITORS Silvera opens its doors to visitors of all shapes and sizes. From volunteers who donate their time and resources to prospective residents going on a tour of your community, thank you for making them feel welcome. Marian Churchill helps Grade 4 students from Janet Johnstone Elementary School with a science project at Shawnessy Community. “Where do I sign in?” JJ the donkey comes to visit Spruce Community.

Inside our organization, we experienced the terrible loss of a colleague and friend. Maintenance Supervisor Randy Adrian was a proud Silvera employee, a true champion for our work and for you, our residents. At the same time, we realize that, within our communities, you also lost fellow residents and friends this past year, as they moved to a higher level of care or passed away. These sad events remind us that life is precious and short. Yet, while we share in these losses, Silvera has many reasons to celebrate 2015. Let’s highlight a few. For the fourth consecutive year, thanks to the generous spirit of Calgary philanthropist Sam Switzer, more than 300 residents were able to attend the Annual Resident Event, enjoying each other’s company over lunch at the BMO Centre. Not only was it an opportunity to form new friendships, but the lively entertainment by the Dueling Pianos inspired an afternoon of singing and dancing. Silvera’s own version of the Olympic Games — the Silvera Games — marked its third anniversary in 2015. More residents than ever spent a day competing for top honours in a variety of activities that promoted active aging. At the community level, there was a focus on art shows, virtual treks across Alberta, planting community gardens, and staff from numerous Calgary companies came to Silvera to offer their helping hands. Birthday parties are always a big deal at Silvera. In 2015, there are no fewer than four residents who now call themselves centenarians. This exclusive club includes:

H 100: Mildred Johnson, Shouldice Community H 101: Sarah Ann Payne, Shawnessy Community H 101: Cleo Bilton, Aspen Community H 101: Anny Fransen, Shawnessy Community

Of course, none of these events, let alone the day-to-day operations of Silvera, would be possible without the hard work of our team. Whether it’s fixing your water faucet, cleaning your room, serving you a meal, or connecting you with a community resource, our employees and volunteers are the heart of Silvera. We know you appreciate their efforts and understand they are doing their best to make a difference. Looking back at 2015 would not be complete without acknowledging Silvera’s Board of Directors. You might not know their names or faces, but their thoughtful oversight and direction are reasons why Silvera is so well-respected in Alberta. We are proud of our 53-year history of providing 1,500 residents each year with safe and affordable homes. We hope, too, that you will encourage your friends to come and live with Silvera. Looking ahead to 2016, there will be more challenges to face and tough decisions to make. The smoke-free initiative we are introducing on May 1, 2016, is an example of the direction we are needing to take next year for the health and safety of our residents and employees, as well as managing risk in our buildings. Please remember your comments are always welcome and Comment Cards are one way for you to provide feedback.

Editor: Silvana Saccomani #804, 7015 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 2K6 (t) 403.276.5541 • (f) 403.276.9152 •

4 | If you know someone who needs a Silvera home, please contact us at 403.276.5541

On behalf of everyone who works behind the scenes at Silvera, I would like to wish you all a happy and joyful New Year.

Arlene Adamson, CEO | 403.276.5541

Silvera Times Winter 2015  
Silvera Times Winter 2015  

Silvera Times reports on what's happening around Silvera's 26 communities in Calgary.