Berwick House founder Gordon Denford (left) and his son, Chris, unveil the new onsite Tweeds Cafe during the 30th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy Lesley Sikorski)

Berwick House marks 30 years in Saanich, 92-year-old founder not slowing down

The ‘family oriented’ celebration included staff, residents, community members

The Gordon Head Berwick House marked 30 years in Saanich on Wednesday.

Gordon Denford, founder of Berwick Retirement Communities, opened the retirement home in 1989 after seeing a need for “vibrant, engaging social communities for seniors.” Over the years, Denford opened seven more locations in B.C. – the eighth home opened in Qualicum Beach in early November.

The anniversary celebration included the official unveiling of the new onsite Tweeds Cafe, an awards ceremony and a cocktail party for residents and community members along with current and former staff.

READ ALSO: Comox Valley ‘Photos with Satan’ Christmas ad appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers

At the party, folks who’ve been connected to the Berwick House for many years got up to speak. Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff was among those who spoke, and Mayor Fred Haynes sent a note of congratulation and appreciation for Denford’s work in the community.

Residents also shared their experiences and many of the original staff members stopped in, giving the event a “family feel.” A sculpture symbolizing family was also gifted to the Berwick House by food-service company, Compass Group, in honour of the anniversary.

An awards ceremony was also held during the celebration. Lee Coonfer, CEO of the BC Seniors Living Association, highlighted Denford’s work by giving him the Pioneer Award. Four staff members – Doug Webb, Margot Wallace, Bill Krutz and Katrina Glass – were also recognized and received awards to mark their 30 years of service to the Berwick House. The four staff members have been with the company since the Gordon Head Berwick House first opened.

READ ALSO: Velocity expert testifies SUV sped up to 90 km/h ahead of crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Denford, 92, continues to operate the retirement homes with his son, Chris, and works to connect with each resident. Chris, who is now the CEO and president of the company, feels his father’s legacy demonstrates his belief that fostering connections in the community he lives and works in is the key to success.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
A 1900s writing box found in Greater Victoria contained ink, photos and a letter addressed to Clara McCaubry dated October 14, 1898. (Photo courtesy Suzanne Hervieux)
Mysterious 1900s writing box finds a home among Saanich Archives

Wooden chest owned by early Saanich resident Clara Isabelle McCaubry

(Black Press Media file photo)
Spooky online class cooks up funds for Greater Victoria Imagination Library

United Way Greater Victoria offers how-to for witch cookies, tasty coffin as fundraiser

Murray Rankin has announced he will seek the nomination for the Oak Bay Gordon Head riding in the 2021 provincial election (which could happen in the fall of 2020). The former Minister of Parliament for the Victoria riding from 2012 to 2019.
(MurrayRankin.com)
New Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin says he will use his federal connections

Rankin said being part of NDP majority government gives him a strong voice

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read