Abbeyfield House is a 10-room residence, at 915 9th St South in Golden, for independent seniors; a lively place that has the scent of freshly dripped coffee and cake flowing through its halls. It is a facility that feels like a sort of country club for seniors. Abbeyfield House features friendly neighbours, amenities in every direction, and the preparation of two delicious meals a day, prepared by live-in house co-ordinator, Shirley Fudge.
Amidst the 10 occupants, with only one being a man, is a soft-spoken lady who has been calling the place home for nearly two years. She is a kind woman with a passion for reading and being with friends and family. Her name is Helen Patterson, a native of Huntingdon, Quebec, and her time at Abbeyfield House has been quite pleasing.
“I like it here. It is the kind of place where I can do my own thing, live my own life,” Helen Patterson said of the main advantage of living in a place like Abbeyfield House.
In Helen’s past, she was a noble Canadian woman, who spent two years as a volunteer with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in Quebec; it was 1943, Helen was 18-years-old, and World War II was already in the heat of battle. Helen spent her time working in the mailing department, a place where she eventually met her husband.
“I joined the military when I was 18, just a young girl. I did my basic training in Kitchener, Ontario. It was different for me; the girls had to stay plain…no makeup,” Helen reminisced.
With the war years long behind her, Helen has been calling Golden home for over 10 years; she originally moved out to be in the “beautiful mountains” to be close to her daughter, and Golden resident, Karen.
Helen has lived in a pair of places in Golden, the last being the Riverpoint building across from the bowling alley. When the building was converted from an apartment to a condo, Helen decided she would give Abbeyfield House a try opposed to purchasing a condo.
“It was easy for me to move. I kept the few things that I wanted to bring over here and sold the rest. I don’t need too much here, they supply basically everything (besides the furniture in each room),” Patterson added.
In the cooler weather, Helen can be found playing cards, reading, chatting on the phone, or playing a bit of Scrabble. But, once the warm weather blesses Golden, Helen spends most of her time outdoors. Abbeyfield House provides each resident with his or her own planter-box outside their window, something Helen thoroughly enjoys.
“I’m always outside in warm weather. I enjoy walking around in the sun and spending time tending to my planter-box,” Helen said, almost dreaming of the warm weather.
As robins begin arriving back home for the summer months, trees begin budding, and grass becomes green, the time for Helen to get outdoors is just around the corner.
Abbeyfield House opened in January 2000 on land provided by St. Paul’s Anglican Church. The house is one of 27 in British Columbia and one of 33 in Canada. The facilities are comfortable, affordable, and provide its tenants with two nourishing meals a day; a great place to call home.
For those interested in potentially calling Abbeyfield House home, stop by the location and pick up an application form and get the ball rolling.