The bus left at 8:00 a.m. with 19 Sisters of Providence, 10 Sisters of other communities and three infirmary staff. They arrived at the care centre at exactly 11:00 a.m. to be greeted by the Sisters of Providence from the Calgary region waiting outside the bus with broad smiles and warm hugs. Mr. Raymond Cormie, CEO of both Providence Care Centre and Father Lacombe Care Centre, directly across the road, was also present when they arrived and welcomed them into the building.
Just inside the entrance was a life-sized statue of Mother Emilie Gamelin, there to greet all who come.
The group spent considerable time in the Rewucki Great Room on ground floor, receiving red rose corsages, taking photos of the room and of those present. This room has a high ceiling with much space and light, and includes small seating areas where people can sit and chat and a bistro at one side where they can enjoy refreshments or even light meals.
All along the top of one long wall is a mural which features photos of Sisters of Providence from different eras, displayed among a translucent wash of colors like stained glass. It was pointed out with some excitement that one of those in the mural, Sister Angela Mary (Sister Alwina Becher) was present among those who’d come for the day. At this point Sister Gloria Keylor, Provincial Superior, acknowledged the debt of gratitude of the Sisters to Mr. Cormie, without whom the care centre would not have been built.
The group was then invited outside to the garden area, where a tent had been erected to shelter the tables set up for the delicious luncheon being held in honor of the visiting Sisters. In the course of the luncheon there were brief speeches from Mr. Cormie and from Mr. Charles Russell, Chair of the Board, who had shared in all the dreams, worries and work of bringing the Providence Care Centre to life.
After lunch the Sisters were divided into groups of about ten and given tours of the building. There are seven neighbourhoods in the building, one of which is for priests of the Calgary diocese; the others are based on the care needs of the residents concerned. The priests’ area is called St. John Vianney Neighbourhood and the other neighbourhoods are named after trees (Aspen, Ashwood, etc.) each is introduced with a wooden mural featuring large leaves of that particular type of tree. The resident’srooms are spacious and comfortable and contain the most modern helps to mobility. Each area also has a particular color, which is echoed on the outside walls of the building. The use of light and color throughout the building has much to do with the feeling of liveliness and variety. Each neighbourhood also has its own dining room, attractively arranged with well-set tables and plenty of space. In every area of the building, large historical photos of Sisters of Providence were to be seen.
To conclude the visit, everyone went to the grotto just north of the Father Lacombe Care Centre. In this place, which holds so many memories for the Sisters, they prayed and sang to Mary and had a group photo taken.
Then quite a number visited the Sisters’ cemetery while others relaxed and enjoyed the view of the grounds. Even the weather was perfect for the visit—just pleasantly warm. The bus left for Edmonton at 4:00 p.m. and again took only three hours to reach home. On the way, the Sisters had a supper of varied sandwiches thoughtfully prepared for them by the kitchen at Providence Care Centre. Thank God for a safe trip and a wonderful day.