• James Armstrong

Hudson seniors’ residence fêtes 40-year anniversary


MP Peter Schiefke (right) presented a copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to representatives of Manoir Cavagnal (left to right) Fred Aaronson, Chris Morgan, Hans Gruenwald Jr., and Nicole Durand.

Manoir Cavagnal, a seniors’ apartment complex in Hudson, celebrated four decades of providing independent living facilities for war veterans and seniors on fixed incomes with a reception on Sunday, September 16. On hand to assist with the event were Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Peter Schiefke, Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois, Mayor of Rigaud and a former Director of Manoir Cavagnal, Hans Gruenwald Jr.

Federal MP presents gift

“In 1978, the Manoir started out with16 members,” recounted Schiefke as he addressed the guests. “That grew and created a movement proving it really takes a community to create something like the Manoir,” he said.

Schiefke acknowledged General Manager Nicole Durand for her continuing service beginning in 1998.

“On behalf of everyone in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, I want to thank Nicole and everyone – the directors, the volunteers, and the tenants – for everything you have done to make this a true icon here in Hudson and the area,” he said.

To mark the occasion, Schiefke presented the Manoir with a framed copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Last year we celebrated the 35th anniversary of the creation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and this year we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the creation of Canada Day by the late Liberal Member of Parliament Hal Herbert, a former president of the Manoir,” he noted. Herbert’s wife, Madeleine Lemieux, is also currently a resident of Manoir Cavagnal.

Recognition from Soulanges riding

“What the community has done here is an example of family,” said Charlebois as she greeted the guests. “You are welcoming me as a friend and a member of the family,” she added, recognizing the fact the Town of Hudson was formerly part of the Vaudreuil riding, but was now assigned to the Soulanges riding that Charlebois currently represents as a member of the Quebec Liberal government. “You can be sure that I am going to work for all of you,” she said.

Strong volunteers

“Forty years ago, people with strength decided Hudson needed an institution to take care of older veterans and other seniors. That was a mission they worked on without asking how much time it would take or how much it would cost. It was a dream to be created and they did it,” said Gruenwald as he described how the Manoir has become the foundation for the five Royal Canadian Legion Branches that own and operate the Manoir through the Lakeshore Legion Housing Association.

“This is a very special occasion,” said Durand. “However, in 10 years we will have another celebration when the mortgage is paid and we can burn it.”

“I want to be there to light the match,” said Gruenwald with a smile.

“In January, because we’ll have a fire in the stove,” chimed in one of the guests.

“Volunteerism is wonderful and we’re still here and we are thriving,” said the current president of the association, Fred Aronson, as he thanked Durand for organizing the event.

Birthday celebrations

Iris Roegiers celebrated her 95th birthday on Sunday as the guests sang Happy Birthday while two other residents also received best wishes for upcoming birthdays. Lilian Connolly celebrated her 96th on Monday, September 17, and Dorothy Blaise is looking forward to celebrating her 100th on Monday, October 8.

“I have lived here at the Manoir for 33 years,” Blaise told The Journal. She was born in Somerset, England and came to Canada with her parents at five and a half years of age.