Caretakers Bruce and Irene Montgomery join resident John Carter for a photo by the Christmas tree at Chateau Manor. Photo: Jim Bailey

Caretakers Bruce and Irene Montgomery join resident John Carter for a photo by the Christmas tree at Chateau Manor. Photo: Jim Bailey

Kootenay manor makes festive holiday season for seniors

Every wall, nook, doorway, and shelf is feted with seasonal decor

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, in particular the elderly.

However, a Trail seniors residence is making the holiday season incredibly bright and festive for everyone.

Irene and Bruce Montgomery own and operate Chateau Manor on Columbia Ave. in East Trail and have made the comfortable 20-unit seniors residence into the new North Pole.

“It makes so many people smile, especially this year,” said Irene. “They are my family, my extended family.”

Residents John Carter and Maria Pasin enjoy the decorations that (masked) Irene and John Montgomery put up to brighten Chateau Manor over the holidays. Photo: Jim Bailey

Residents John Carter and Maria Pasin enjoy the decorations that (masked) Irene and John Montgomery put up to brighten Chateau Manor over the holidays. Photo: Jim Bailey

A Frosty Snowman family greets visitors outside at the main door adorned with cedar boughs and lights, and Santa Claus is the first to welcome you inside.

The halls are decked with holly and every wall, nook, doorway, and shelf is feted with wonderful seasonal fixtures from angels, wreaths, stars, snowflakes and ornaments, to a beautiful nativity scene, a revolving Christmas tree, and a full-size automated Santa that offers a handshake and a merry version of Jingle Bells.

“When I enter the manor you can immediately feel the peace and beauty and it smells like home cooking,” says Suzanne, the daughter of 95-years-young John Carter, who lives at the manor and appreciates the efforts of caretakers Irene and Bruce.

“Oh man do they ever work this over, the people that own it are really making a good job of it,” said Carter. “I sold my house, I’m set up here and I’m in a good situation. I don’t cry about it at all.”

Related read: ‘World’s Most Extreme Grandpa’ hails from Trail, B.C.

Carter says he has the best of all worlds, with three square meals a day, 24-hour care, and holidays to celebrate.

“Transitioning into any facility when you are a senior is difficult, but Chateau Manor makes the residents feel at home right away,” said Suzanne. “In fact, in the hallway is a large area posting all the residents photos and is entitled: Friends, Family, Love, and Faith.”

Frosty and his family welcome residents at Chateau Manor over the holiday season.

Frosty and his family welcome residents at Chateau Manor over the holiday season.

Irene says she has been collecting the decorations for almost 50 years, and she takes a great deal of pride and pleasure in bringing the spirit of Christmas to the residents. And, it’s not only Christmas that the Montgomery’s decorate the manor, but virtually every holiday.

“Bruce and Irene work very hard to provide decorations for all the seasons to give the residents happiness,” added Suzanne, who is especially appreciative of the precautions and cleaning protocols taken by the manor during the pandemic.

“With the COVID pandemic in the world, extra care is taken at Chateau Manor to have everything clean. They do a fabulous job.”

The manor has all the amenities, renovated rooms, and provides three meals a day with a snack. They also have vacancies, but much depends on the provincial health authority, and what the new year will bring.

For Chateau Manor, one thing is certain; it will be adorned with more impressive decorations for a happy and festive New Year’s Eve.



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For senior residents, staying at Chateau Manor is like staying with a large extended family.