Full-circle connection

Community Featured

NEW GLASGOW — Clara Teed has a long standing connection to Glen Haven Manor that is both personal and professional. Not only is Clara a resident, she and her sister the late Elizabeth Jackson began working at Glen Haven 48 years ago back in 1969 when the facility first opened. She has also had several family members who have been residents of Glen Haven. Clara served as a personal care worker and Elizabeth was a RN. Clara went on to work at Glen Haven for 20 years and it is from here she concluded her career and retired.

She and her sister previously worked at Riverview Home and Clara recalls taking the bus with Elizabeth from their hometown in Westville to the “Asphalt” area in Stellarton and then walking to Riverton for work. She says that when they changed jobs and moved to Glen Haven there was direct bus transportation and it made getting to work a lot easier as there were no more long walks. Earlier in her career, Clara worked at the Westville Post Office and in the Drummond Mine Office during wartime.

Clara met her husband Jimmy at a Westville ball field back in the day when there was a Senior Baseball League and the games were a popular spot in the region for gathering and socializing. Clara combined a long and interesting career with raising two daughters and four sons: Marilyn, Charles, Kathy, Michael, Johnny and David. She is proud of her six children, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Clara’s daughter Marilyn also worked at Glen Haven as a certified nursing assistant. Marilyn recalls the impact of former Director of Care Mabel Johnson, RN on both staff and residents. With Clara, Elizabeth and Marilyn all contributing to long term care, it is clear that a calling to care for others is a family tradition.

Clara, at the age of 94, has maintained the same style and grace that is evident in her treasured vintage photos. Family photos grace her room and she points to a photo of herself and her husband taken in the 40s. Another photo of Jimmy during WWII with his fellow soldiers and their wedding photo are also prominently displayed.

Clara recalls that Glen Haven did not house as many residents back in her day as a PCW and at the time one floor was much like an enriched housing unit and there were only two floors. She says she and Elizabeth both enjoyed their careers there and liked working with the residents. One difference Clara notes is that when she was working there were no buzzers available to residents. Today, she appreciates the fact that she can call staff to her room in an instant. Clara says she enjoys living at Glen Haven and finds the staff in all departments “very good and friendly.” Breakfast is her favorite meal of the day and that it gets her off to a good start. She appreciates the care she receives and enjoys visits to the business office and the opportunity to chat one on one with staff there.

Glen Haven CEO Lisa M. Smith recalls that she met Clara more than 10 years ago when Smith first began her position and says she has gotten to know Clara well. “Clara has a distinctive presence,” Smith explains. “She is always so appreciative and positive to everyone with her engaging smile and keen wit. Residents and our staff appreciate her company very much. Clara and her family have a strong connection to Glen Haven that has endured for nearly 50 years. That kind of bond has significant meaning and is treasured.”

There is a stately tree that was planted at the front of Glen Haven to mark the facility’s opening 48 plus years ago. It is a symbol of the passage of time but also a reminder that Clara Teed was part of the Glen Haven team when the planting took place and that she was witness to this milestone.

Clara Teed, a long standing resident of Glen Haven Manor, enjoys a visit with her granddaughter Carole Baker-Norris (left) and talking about her time as an employee at Glen Haven with CEO Lisa M. Smith.  (Submitted photo)