NEW GLASGOW – Linda Freeman has been working at High Crest Place for almost as long as it’s been open.
Linda Freeman browses old photo albums of activities at High Crest Place over the years. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS
The seniors residential care facility recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and Freeman can remember starting only five weeks after the opening of the “very homey” building.
“It’s been a great place to work,” she said, listing the size and the closeness with residents as some of the reasons why she enjoys it.
She said the employees get to know the families of the residents as well.
“Everyone knows what’s going on with everyone.”
She is the eyes and ears of the building. The director of care has lived through plumbing renovations forcing residents into one room and remembers when one of the sections of the building used to be a Lawtons Drugs store.
The turnover rate is low, with many employees sticking around for a decade or more.
“It seems when you start here, it’s such a nice place you never want to leave.”
High Crest Place is only one of the facilities throughout the enterprise run by president Shannon Stephenson.
They have five buildings from Sherbrooke to Springhill.
“It’s always been a family-run business,” Stephenson said, who inherited it from his late father, Bruce Stephenson.
He’s proud of their level of standards and practices, which have earned them recognition from Accreditation Canada, he said.
“It’s big commitment from all of us.”
Shannon has been involved with the business since he was a child, washing dishes, painting and anything else that needed to be done on the property.
He took on the management role after he had earned a law degree from the University of New Brunswick.
Shannon believes his father was driven to start the first facility in Antigonish because of a friend he had in Ontario who owned a similar home.
He purchased a convent in 1980 in Antigonish and converted it into Highland-Crest Home.
From there, he purchased other buildings for repurposing.
The 28-bed facility in New Glasgow was converted from the old Norfolk Hotel.
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