Sandy Pednault recalls feeling on top of the world when Ayre Manor was able to open the complex care and assisted living centre in 2008, a highly anticipated expansion in the community. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sandy Pednault recalls feeling on top of the world when Ayre Manor was able to open the complex care and assisted living centre in 2008, a highly anticipated expansion in the community. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sooke woman steps down after two decades of volunteer service at Ayre Manor

Sandy Pednault recalls highs and lows as chair of the Sooke Elderly Citizens Housing Society

Sandy Pednault’s day was briefly turned upside down when more than 30 new beds showed up outside her office one bright morning.

She stood outside Ayre Manor, an affordable seniors housing facility in Sooke, staring at a semi-trailer truck that managed to wiggle its way into the small parking lot in 2018. The driver informed her that they were delivering new beds, a much-needed update at the facility for 33 residential suites.

Unfortunately, the truck didn’t come equipped with a lift to get the beds out.

“It was probably one of the most memorable days here [at the manor] because we were so caught off guard,” chuckled Pednault, 78. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but I knew we had to fix the problem quickly.”

With one phone call, a forklift was on its way from Home Hardware, and the beds were stacked into a storage space on the property, later to be moved into separate rooms.

Days like those are only a drop in the bucket of memories for Pednault, who’s stepping down as chair of the Sooke Elderly Citizens Housing Society after 23 years of volunteer service at Ayre Manor.

RELATED: Sooke’s Ayre Manor expansion stalled

Her last day was in early October, where she was given a large card and flowers from coworkers. It wasn’t hard on Pednault’s part to say goodbye, as she doesn’t feel like it’s goodbye at all.

Last Wednesday morning, she dropped by the Ayre Manor to chat with executive director Kerry Williams about an idea to propose funding for a cleaning machine for wheelchairs.

“I’ve never met someone exactly like her,” said Williams, who was first introduced to Pednault eight years ago.

“I arrived here [at the manor], and she was out on the grounds in her gumboots doing some gardening. The amount of time and effort she’s poured into the seniors here is outstanding.”

Pednault recalls feeling on top of the world when the Sooke Elderly Citizens Housing Society was able to open Ayre Manor, a complex care and assisted living centre, in 2008.

“I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God, this is actually happening,’” Pednault said. “It was so busy during that time that there wasn’t much room left to think about how worthwhile all the hard work was.”

READ MORE: Sooke’s Ayre Manor takes unique approach to recruiting nurses

Pednault said perseverance and calmness are key virtues for someone in her position.

She said Williams would come up to her once a week to work out their concerns and stresses over a new project. Pednault continually pushes for the province and Island Health to help fund the construction of 58 more units, a request on the books since 2013. The organization is still in talks with Island Health about how best to move forward.

Looking to the future, you’ll find Pednault tending to her garden whenever she has a spare moment.

She’s also excited to spend more time with her husband and her four grandchildren. The next person to take over her position is Pat Philipps.

Notably, there are two vacancies on the board of directors that they are still looking to fill. Ayre Manor has just under 100 staff on its team, and around 40 people are waiting to get into the facility.

Pednault believes that new blood is needed, pointing out she’s as old as some people living at Ayre Manor. Nonetheless, she says every minute was “time well spent,” as volunteering has been a keystone part of her life.

“I’ve already got an extra bed [at the Manor] prepared to take care of her,” Williams joked. “Sooke is lucky to have her.”

ALSO READ: Sooke seniors home steps up precautions in light of pandemic


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

seniors housingSooke

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

 

Sandy Pednault, 78, (left) is stepping down after 23 years of volunteer service with Sooke’s Ayre Manor. Executive director Kerri Williams says ‘Sooke is lucky to have her’. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sandy Pednault, 78, (left) is stepping down after 23 years of volunteer service with Sooke’s Ayre Manor. Executive director Kerri Williams says ‘Sooke is lucky to have her’. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

The WHL’s Victoria Royals will compete in a 24-game season starting March 26, <strong></strong>based out of a Kamloops and Kelowna B.C. division bubble (Kevin Light/Courtesy Victoria Royals)
‘Important to cherish every moment’: Victoria Royals not taking bubble season for granted

The Victoria WHL team’s coach and GM calls the season a ‘privilege,’ expects fierce rivalries

The Victoria Fire Department was able to contain a fire to one room after a bed placed directly against a heater ignited. (Black Press Media file photo)
Early morning Victoria balcony fire causes $20,000 in damages

Victoria Fire Department said nobody was injured in the fire on View Street

Camp Barnard during the 2019 Pacific Jamboree. (Photo: Camp Barnard)
Camp Barnard near Sooke hopes fundraiser will help it progress on accessibility goals

I Care ‘Bout Camp challenge hopes to raise $100,000 for new lodge, replaced kitchen

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Most Read