The property was returned to the province in 1964: a Provincial Museum was built on part of the grounds and Government House was restored and re-opened as a conference centre. Some further renovations were done in the 1970's and in 1985 Government House was declared to be a Provincial Historical Resource. It's a beautiful building--I had never been in it before. We were given a tour, dined on the 1st floor, the reception was on the 2nd floor, and the official pictures were taken on the 3rd floor where there is a fabulous 100+ seats conference room in the round.
Second Wind Dreams was one of the 3 recipients of the group Minster's Senior Service Award. These awards have been given out for 13 years and there were a total of 80 nominations for group and individual awards this year. We had known for about a month that we had won, but the official statement was issued on Wednesday. Not all the members of the committee were able to attend, but we were allowed to have 5 people and we also invited Averil Suriyakumaran from the Edmonton General to join us. Claire, a resident at the EG, is on the SWD committee and she was thrilled to be able to attend such a function--it was probably the most exciting thing that has happened in her life. She is in her 50's and has been a resident at the EG in a wheelchair for over 10 years now. Imagine what it must be like for the younger people who are consigned to a life in a long-term care facility either because of diseases like MS, or because of injuries. And the majority of the other residents are over 75. Something to think about if we get to feeling sorry for ourselves.
Anyway, we were introduced to the new Lt.-Governor, His Honour Col. Retired Donald Ethell, who has only been in the job for a month. He's quite informal and was new to the whole protocol thing. His Aide-de-Camp, a lovely young gal in the military shepherded him around. We met the Minister of Seniors, Mary Anne Jablonski and other government types. The MLA for Edmonton Centre (where the EG is located), Laurie Blakeman was there and sat with us at our table and gave the introduction for SWD. She was the only Liberal MLA there and has been quite supportive of the EG and our issues. Diane and I were interviewed by Omni TV (although I have yet to see the interview on their newscasts), we all admired the wonderful paintings, all by Alberta artists of course, that have been purchased for Government House, had a fancy dinner, and then received our award. We didn't know this before but the government only wanted 2 reps of the group to be in the pictures and receive the award and that ended up being Diane and I. We weren't happy about that because we had thought that everyone would be up there. But Doreen, Claire, and Kay were mentioned and acknowledged.
Doreen took some pictures, but she doesn't download them, just prints them off at Wal-Mart or wherever, so I have no photos other than this one of the award. But we are supposed to get a CD of the photos and some printed for us too. So I will post another blog when we get pictures.