Valley Manor staff celebrates 40 years

Gayle Davis

BARRY’S BAY – Nestled on a hill, surrounded by forest and nature, the Valley Manor sits in one of the most peaceful settings in Barry’s Bay.

Manor residents and staff have daily opportunities to commune with nature through huge glass windows throughout the facility. Frequent visits from deer, squirrels and turkeys brighten up the day. If you look closely, you might even see some nose prints on the outside glass. It would seem that the animals are as fascinated with the residents and staff as the residents and staff are with the animals.

The Valley Manor opened in Barry’s Bay in 1978, with a mandate to serve a community in dire need of long-term care. On Saturday December 1, 2018, Mary Blank, Nancy Cybulski, Debbie Palubeskie, Marilyn Hudder and Sylvia Rumleskie, who all began working at the newly opened manor in 1978, were recognized for their 40 years of service, not only to the manor itself, but also to the over 1,000 residents who have been a part of the Valley Manor family during those years.

When these five ladies began working full-time at the manor, a health aide course was offered by Algonquin College which they attended. It ran twice a week, from September to June.

“We were the first group to go through,” explained Nancy Cybulski.

“There was quite a need [for long term care] in the community,” stated Mary Blank. “And there still is.”

There was no long-term care offered close by, just Bancroft to the south and Renfrew to the north.

Mary Blank, hired as activities director, also worked security at night. Blank still loves her career, even after 40 years in the same location.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the January 3, 2019 Valley Gazette or subscribe online.

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