2023 Completes 70 Years of Compassionate Care at Menno Place

December 16, 2023 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Over the past 70 years Menno Place in Abbotsford, BC has provided trusted care for more than 27,000 seniors. Now they look forward to redeveloping the campus to meet the needs of the next 70 years.

Recently the Menno Hospital chapel was filled to capacity with a tea celebrating the 70 year milestone. Speaking at the tea Bruce Banman, MLA for Abbotsford South, captured the essence of Menno Place saying, "70 years is an impressive milestone that speaks volumes about the dedication, care, and unwavering commitment of the founders, staff, volunteers and everyone who has contributed to this success. It stands not just as a physical structure, but as a testament to compassion, empathy, and the value of supporting our seniors."

Menno Place has been a key part of the Abbotsford community since before the city was incorporated. In 1953 a small group of Mennonites motivated by faith in God and concern for the elderly formed the Mennonite Benevolent Society (MBS). They got to work quickly. Their first building was home to 26 residents. Two years later they doubled its capacity. In 1960 they built Menno Hospital, and after several more additions in 1982 added the first of four apartment buildings. Since then MBS has grown to become one of the major long-term care and housing organizations in the province. It is currently home to more than 700 seniors.

Throughout the anniversary tea guests watched videos of current and former staff and residents talking about the impact Menno Place has had in their lives. One resident spoke of the four generations of her family who have called Menno Place home, while another described how Menno Place staff had gently walked with his father in the final days of his life. Each one spoke of the care and connection they experienced on the campus.

That personal, entrusted, resident-centred care has been at the heart of Menno Place for 70 years and continues to be the bedrock on which all decisions are made. Speaking at the 70th tea Sujata Connors, Menno Place CEO, repeated her ongoing commitment to working alongside families in the care of seniors saying, "We are a powerful, hopeful and unstoppable force for good. To all our residents and families, if it matters to you, it matters to us. It matters to me."

As the CEO, Connors is directing the future with her eye on further expansion and redeveloping the campus's older buildings to bring them up to the level where they can provide the amenities, technology and services today's seniors need to thrive. Menno Place has been advocating for 20 years for the redevelopment of their long-term care homes without success. In 2024, they will be reaching out to residents, staff, stakeholders and the broader community for input and support to move in the direction of redevelopment. They are determined to succeed, putting into place buildings that will enable the next 70 years of compassionate Christian care.

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