Steeples Housing Society president Bill Cleary and administrator Elizabeth Heydon Bennett are proud that the Steeples is about to mark its 10th anniversary and what the facility has meant to the community.  (Photo by Don Bodger)

Steeples Housing Society president Bill Cleary and administrator Elizabeth Heydon Bennett are proud that the Steeples is about to mark its 10th anniversary and what the facility has meant to the community. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Steeples assisted living facility celebrates 10 years in Chemainus Nov. 26

Society president and administrator proud of the facility’s importance to the community

An involvement essentially since the beginning of the Steeples brings a great sense of pride for Bill Cleary and Elizabeth Heydon Bennett as the assisted living facility closes in on its 10th anniversary.

“I really enjoy it, may as well continue,” said Cleary, who’s been the president of the Steeples Housing Society almost from Day One after taking over from Ron Mustard and being part of it before the first shovel went in the ground. “It’s a job I love.

“I just think of the people we’ve had in here, the pleasure of getting to know them, the acceptance of the community and the work on the board.”

There’s been some really great people working on the board, Cleary asserted.

“The board’s been very supportive of everything we’ve tried to do.”

He credited Rondeau Fenton and Patty Cocks for their foresight into making the project happen.

“They did the preliminary grunt work. They are the two visionaries – I think a lot of credit goes to them and the Health Care Foundation for donating the land.”

Heydon Bennett has been the facility’s all-encompassing person as administrator, overseeing the families, staff, tenants and Island Health (also still often referred to as Vancouver Island Health Authority, its previous name) personnel.

“She does everything,” conceded Cleary.

“I’m very pleased and lucky to have had this job,” enthused Heydon Bennett.

There are many things she thinks about upon reflection with the upcoming anniversary.

“It’s a great place for people to live,” she said. “They shouldn’t be afraid of it.

“We aren’t a care home. We basically tell people we’re an apartment with supports. It’s Island Health that provides the personal care services.”

There’s a misconception that everything is provided for the tenants, Heydon Bennett added.

There are 16 units in the building – one with a couple so 17 tenants overall – and it’s subsidized housing for seniors and people with disabilities who require some assistance to maintain independence but don’t need or want 24-hour care. Two meals a day are provided in the facility’s dining room.

“The key word is ‘affordable,’” noted Cleary. “It’s a subsidized building by B.C. Housing and Island Health.”

There’s an open house to celebrate the Steeples’ 10 years in the community on Sunday, Nov. 26 from 2-4 p.m. The facility is located at 9910 Esplanade St. in Chemainus and everyone is welcome to come by for cake and a peek inside.

“Those people who might be considering moving here have an opportunity to see what we’re all about,” added Heydon Bennett.

Island Health is responsible for determining all tenant eligibility and selection.

Cleary hinted there are plans in the works for the Steeples. “We’re looking at expanding.”

Cottage style units separate from the main building are being considered.

Just Posted

Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduate and valedictorian Chayla Pollock receives her certificate from principal Lori Hryniuk. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Valedictorian Pollock’s address to the Class of 2021

Different kind of setting in a classroom for the traditional presentation

Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduate Nina Bumstead. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Grad ceremony proceeds, with a twist

Red carpet outside works out well for Chemainus Secondary’s Class of 2021

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

Chemainus street signs now contain Hul’qumi’num translations, like this one at the corner of Willow and Legion Streets. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Street signs go up in the Hul’qumi’num language

Chemainus intersections feature direct translations

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

Most Read