Family, staff and community collaboration delivers a memorable 100th birthday to Westmount resident

A large parade and a brass band help Coral Poole celebrate milestone birthday
10/14/2020  - Deron Hamel

It’s not every day that someone living at Westmount Gardens turns 100, but when milestone birthdays come around the folks working at the London, Ont. long-term care community go all-out to celebrate.

And that’s exactly what happened on Sept. 26, when a parade that included members of a vintage car club and a fire engine turned up at Westmount Gardens to wish resident Coral Poole a happy 100th.

Due to restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Westmount Gardens was not able to host a large indoor party for Coral.

However, by the team working with Coral’s family and sending the word out to the local community, Coral was given a birthday surprise she will never forget.

Coral’s family approached the Westmount life enrichment team prior to her birthday to organize the parade.

Coral’s family called up friends who joined in the parade. Westmount Gardens life enrichment manager Deb Lines contacted members of a vintage car club who came down, and the fire department sent a fire engine.

Deb says Coral was taken by the classic cars and their drivers who came by to send her their birthday wishes.

“That was perfect for Coral because she had seen many of these cars throughout her life,” she says.

The Westmount team put the word out around the home to attract drivers, and they even put a large sign up in the front yard inviting the community to come. The event was also advertised in the home’s newsletter.

As a result, there were many people who drove by Westmount to send Coral their best wishes that Saturday morning.

A local brass band even came by to perform in honour of Coral. Coral also received birthday greetings from Queen Elizabeth II and Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette.

Deb says life enrichment team members Donn Nesseth and Cynthia Cliffen played a large part in making Coral’s birthday a success by helping her get ready and staying with her throughout the event.

Most importantly, Deb says Coral had a wonderful time and enjoyed her community birthday party.

“It was a beautiful day,” she says.

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