The call of the Klondike brought Clive Piercy’s ancestors from Yorkshire to Victoria, where they set up business provisioning the miners who were heading to the goldfields. The family established itself in Victoria working and contributing to the community - from the pioneering Piercy Mercantile Company to Clive’s Chateau Victoria Hotel.
Clive says when he started out in business he was busy training, borrowing money and working long and hard just to get things going. Later, as his ventures stabilized, he contributed in many ways to the community by supporting various local causes from the Pacific Opera to Pancakes with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
Along the way, he took time to enjoy the outdoors, being particularly keen on river and ocean fishing. He’d venture out with his German Short-Haired Pointer dog “Shaker” in search of game, taking annual trips into Alberta and spending endless hours in cold duck blinds. So strong was their bond that Clive and his dog are immortalized in bronze, sitting by the fountain in front of the Chateau Victoria.
When his mother required caregiving 24-hours a day, Clive and his wife Ann were in a financial position to provide the professional care needed and much appreciated. They wondered, though, how others in similar circumstances managed. Thus were sewn the seeds for a challenging undertaking.
Clive and Ann worked with Lori McLeod, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, to create a respite care facility.
“We wanted a quality care facility based on the hotel model,” says Clive, “where people who stayed there were treated like guests rather than patients.”
It had to be comfortable, homely, with a reservation system and hotel style furnishings and décor and be run within the parameters of healthcare protocol and requirements. A challenging undertaking that successfully resulted in the Clive Piercy Respite Hotel, which, as the handbook notes, provides a safe, hospitable and supportive environment for guests, and peace of mind for their family caregivers while they have a break from their caregiving responsibilities.
“Sometimes, it is intimidating for people who are caregivers to drop their family members off at a facility,” says Clive.
Once people realize this respite care facility is like a hotel, both caregivers and guests are relieved. Some people, like the guests known as the “three amigos” have struck up lasting friendships while they were at the respite care hotel and now co-ordinate their stays so they can see each other.
Although the Piercy Respite Hotel is now well-established, Clive’s hands-on interest has not waned. He’s a regular visitor and continues to work with all parties, sharing his expertise and providing information when required. That opportunity to contribute a substantial amount to the “Together we Care” campaign resulted in Clive becoming involved in a project that was dear to his heart, gave him a chance to use his hotelier skills and provide a resource to the community. “Looking back on it, I feel very proud that I did it. It was the best thing I did in my business,” he says.
It wasn’t easy for Clive and Ann to go public with their donation but, says Clive, “because we did go public, other people came forward and contributed and equaled the donation.” It’s crucial to become part of the project to which you donate, he insists, “it doesn’t matter what it is, donate to the charity of your choice to your ability, and become part of it.”
Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation www.gvef.org
Piercy Respite Hotel 250-370-5641
NOVEMBER 2009 SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND
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