Berwick House founder Gordon Denford (left) and his son, Chris, unveil the new onsite Tweeds Cafe during the 30th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy Lesley Sikorski)

Berwick House founder Gordon Denford (left) and his son, Chris, unveil the new onsite Tweeds Cafe during the 30th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy Lesley Sikorski)

Berwick House marks 30 years in Saanich, 92-year-old founder not slowing down

The ‘family oriented’ celebration included staff, residents, community members

The Gordon Head Berwick House marked 30 years in Saanich on Wednesday.

Gordon Denford, founder of Berwick Retirement Communities, opened the retirement home in 1989 after seeing a need for “vibrant, engaging social communities for seniors.” Over the years, Denford opened seven more locations in B.C. – the eighth home opened in Qualicum Beach in early November.

The anniversary celebration included the official unveiling of the new onsite Tweeds Cafe, an awards ceremony and a cocktail party for residents and community members along with current and former staff.

READ ALSO: Comox Valley ‘Photos with Satan’ Christmas ad appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers

At the party, folks who’ve been connected to the Berwick House for many years got up to speak. Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff was among those who spoke, and Mayor Fred Haynes sent a note of congratulation and appreciation for Denford’s work in the community.

Residents also shared their experiences and many of the original staff members stopped in, giving the event a “family feel.” A sculpture symbolizing family was also gifted to the Berwick House by food-service company, Compass Group, in honour of the anniversary.

An awards ceremony was also held during the celebration. Lee Coonfer, CEO of the BC Seniors Living Association, highlighted Denford’s work by giving him the Pioneer Award. Four staff members – Doug Webb, Margot Wallace, Bill Krutz and Katrina Glass – were also recognized and received awards to mark their 30 years of service to the Berwick House. The four staff members have been with the company since the Gordon Head Berwick House first opened.

READ ALSO: Velocity expert testifies SUV sped up to 90 km/h ahead of crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Denford, 92, continues to operate the retirement homes with his son, Chris, and works to connect with each resident. Chris, who is now the CEO and president of the company, feels his father’s legacy demonstrates his belief that fostering connections in the community he lives and works in is the key to success.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

Westcoast Impressions plans to organize a COVID-19 friendly version of the event in 2021 at the Mary Winspear Centre after having cancelled the 2020 version against the backdrop of pandemic. The opening night of the 2019 Sidney Street Market featured more than 150 vendors lined along Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

Tentative plan calls for the event’s return to Beacon Avenue after COVID-19 pandemic

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read