Page 9 - Pioneer - 14th Edition Fall 2017
P. 9

Straight from the heart

                                                    Veterans enjoy outing, home-cooked meal

                                                                            By Jackie Jardine
                                                                   (Reprinted from The Pictou Advocate)

          A meal enjoyed in the bright sunshine and warmth   china plates and glass dessert bowls placed on top of   outing and the good, home-cooked meal.
        of a lazy, late summer day may be something many of   red and white checked tablecloths.
        us take for granted.                                                                                   “This is just a great time,” smiled Harold Hem-
                                                             Following the luncheon, Chester said the bus of   mings, who has been living at the NVU for about four
          For one particular group of people, it was a real treat  NVU residents was to continue on for a tour of pictur-  months.
        and is not something they get to experience every day.  esque Cape John.
                                                                                                               Russell McKinley agreed. “It’s unbelievable.” With
          Five residents of the Northumberland Veterans Unit   Dennis Chipman, recreation director at the NVU in   more than two years of residence at the NVU under
        in Pictou, along with the NVU’s recreation director   Pictou, was bowled over the hospitality shown by the   his belt, he appreciated the gesture.
        and a volunteer, were the guests of honour last Friday   Swantees and Elliott.
        at just such a meal.                                                                                   Matt Young, another two-plus years resident, said
                                                             “It’s absolutely wonderful for someone to open up   the event was “fantastic!”
                                                           their home and hearts like this,” Chipman lauded.
                                                                                                               Allister Thompson, who has only been living at the
                                                             “This is a wonderful display of hospitality and the   veteran’s unit for a few months, was delighted to be
                                                           men enjoy a real sense of community. It is heartfelt   at the Swantee’s. “I am so excited,” he beamed. “It’s
                                                           and very much appreciated,” he beamed. “They are so   nice to be invited out to friends I didn’t know before
                                                           gracious to host us today.”                       today.”
                                                             Chipman recalled speaking to Iola at a smelt fry at   Earl Holt, who is a relative of Iola’s, was also happy
                                                           the River John Legion. The veterans who attended that  to be at the table. “I love it,” he said. “It’s great to get
                                                           event appreciated it and enjoyed it immensely. “Iola   out amongst friends and relatives.” He has been at
                                                           offered to have us here this summer.”             the NVU for about five months and is originally from
                                                                                                             River John.
                                                             And she made good on that promise.
                                                                                                               For their part, the hosts were humble about their
                                                             “This just makes the residents feel loved and wel-  generosity.
        Clockwise, from the left: veterans Russell MacKin-  comed,” Chipman praised.
        ley and Matt Young; Northumberland Veterans Unit     The veterans chatted amiably while their meals were   “I just hope more people consider doing this,” Iola
        volunteer Gwen Tate; Laura Elliott; veteran Allister   being served and expressed their appreciation for the   suggested.
        Thompson; Iola and Chester Swantee; Northumber-
        land Veterans Unit recreation director Dennis Chip-
        man; and veterans Earl Holt and Harold Hemmings.
        The Swantees and Laura Elliott provided a home-
        cooked meal for some residents of the Northumber-
        land Veterans Unit last week. (Jardine photo)

          Iola and Chester Swantee of River John hosted the
        group at their spacious River John home, assisted by
        their friend, Laura Elliott.

          “We just thought it would be nice to have them
        here,” an apron-clad Iola explained, while bustling
        around arranging plates and making sure the guests
        were comfortable.

          The idea, the hosts explained, was hatched several
        months ago when NVU residents were bussed to the
        River John Legion for an outing where they enjoyed
        sweets and sandwiches.
          “We have enough room and we just thought it
        would be more personal to have them here,” Iola
        smiled. “And a sit-down meal would be nice for

        Laura Elliott, left, and Iola Swantee are ready to serve
        the veterans.  (Jardine photo)
          She and Chester and Laura made sure the guests
        were comfortably seated with refreshments while
        they put the finishing touches on the meal. On the
        menu: corned beef hash, new yellow and green string
        beans, garden-fresh carrots, slices of fresh tomato and
        cucumber, homemade biscuits and butter with vanilla
        pudding topped with local blueberries and whipped
        cream for dessert. All of it was served on beautiful
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