Emotional tribute held to celebrate the VSPCR’s fifth anniversary
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Judy and Doug Harvey from DJ Pond World of Hawkesbury, Ontario, prepare to cut a ribbon to officially inaugurate a small waterfall that was built and donated for the residents and staff of the VSPCR on Friday, September 11.
A special tribute was held to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence (VSPCR) in Hudson that was attended by political dignitaries, staff and volunteers last Friday, September 11.
It was an especially emotional tribute for Co-President Sylvie Crevier who struggled to hold back her tears as she addressed the gathering of about 50 people to thank everyone for their support of the project when it was initiated 10 years earlier through consistent fund-raising efforts organized by the VSPCR Foundation to build the facility.
“Five years ago, we took possession of our beautiful residence and began to welcome patients coming to live their final moments before passing on,” Crevier told the gathering, as Co-President Jean-Marie Bourassa stood beside her at the podium. “In addition to offering high quality care and services, patients are also supported by volunteers who are driven by a desire to serve and support.
“Our professionals, employees, physicians, volunteers and administrators have understood the importance of supporting and accompanying end-of-life patients and continue to practice with an ease and determination that never ceases to amaze us,” added Crevier. “Every day for the past five years, amazing things happen at in this residence.”
Crevier later told Your Local Journal that, “In the beginning, some people had doubts that we would be able to put this residence in place. Five years later, we’ve had 725 patients and families come through our centre. The positive comments and support we get from everyone is just amazing. We have answered a need and we will continue to answer this need if the population continues to support us as they have in the past 10 years.”
Other dignitaries who expressed their gratitude and support for the VSPCR included Vaudreuil-Soulanges NDP Member of Parliament Jamie Nicholls; Yves Masse, who was there to represent provincial Health and Social Services Minister Gaétan Barrette; and MRC Interim Prefect and Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal.
For Nicholls, whose father died from cancer in 2002, it was an especially moving tribute. “I would have loved to have had something like the palliative care centre when my dad passed away,” said Nicholls.
“It’s a benefit for all the families in the region,” Nicholls added. “The NDP believes that end of life services are an important issue that Canadians should start talking about. This centre is definitely a success and we’re celebrating it today.”
Cardinal also expressed his support for the VSPCR and the quality of service it provides. “It’s great to be here today to celebrate the palliative care centre’s fifth anniversary and I wish them continued success in the future,” said Cardinal. “We’re really lucky to have to have this centre that is able to serve the entire Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.
A special tribute was also presented to Judy and Doug Harvey of Hawkesbury, Ontario, who through their company DJ Harvey Pond World, graciously donated their time to build a miniature waterfall in a wooded section that has become a popular oasis with everyone at the centre.
“Judy and I have a lot of customers in the Hudson-St. Lazare area and we really wanted to do something for the community at large,” said Doug. “We thought this would be the perfect way to show our gratitude in general and to give something back to the community that has been very good to us.”