Muriel Thompson

Thompson drives enthusiasm at Abbeyfield House

Muriel Thompson is a longtime resident at Port Alberni's Abbeyfield House.

An important date to celebrate this month (besides Seniors Week) is the second annual “Abbeyfield Week”, which will be held June 8–15 in homes worldwide. In fact, there are more than 800 Abbeyfield homes and more than 9,000 residents in 17 countries.

The Abbeyfield movement began in 1956 when Major Richard Carr-Gomm resigned his commission with the British Army and bought a property at 50 Eugene Rd., South London for 250 pounds.

It was to provide housing for four people—the only qualification being loneliness. In 1987, Canada opened its first Abbeyfield house in Sidney, B.C. Today, there are 30 Abbeyfield houses in Canada.

And here in our community, the late Terry Whyte made possible the opening of the Port Alberni home. Now, under the leadership of Marlene Dietrich and an active board of directors, our local Abbeyfield provides accommodation to 21 residents.

One of those residents is Muriel Thompson, who is now the longest living resident of Abbeyfield. She has lived in this home for the past six and a half years. Mrs. Thompson, originally from Ontario, lived in California for several years with her husband, who passed away in 1985.

In 2003, Mrs. Thompson decided to move to Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island to live with her daughter, and shortly after, to Port Alberni, where her second daughter lives.

“I decided to come here to be closer to my other daughter and to Abbeyfield because I felt lonely and depressed,” she says. “I have had no regrets, because this place satisfies my needs and allows me to have friends, be independent, keep busy, have my daughter coming to visit me regularly, and I have a large room with my own furniture.

“In other words, for me, it is a perfect place!”.

All these years since she first arrived, Mrs. Thompson has been actively involved in the life of Abbeyfield, not only socializing regularly with her peers but assisting others. She also oversaw the “Abbeyfield Convenience Store” when it was first opened.

And when the home’s first bus arrived, called at that time  “the pride of Abbeyfield”, it was Muriel who was asked to do the christening of the vehicle, mainly for her enthusiastic endorsement of this means of transportation at Abbeyfield.

Just Posted

Alberni’s Omega Pacific Hatchery releases third batch of chinook salmon

The independent facility is located near Great Central Lake

Alberni Valley schools celebrate First Nations culture

First Nations Spring Festival hosted by SD70 and NTC

Celebrate with Cycle Alberni for Bike to Work and School Week

Celebration stations kick off at Jumping Slug Community Cyclery

Two Alberni Valley hockey players win bronze at NAHC finals

Team BC male awarded a bronze medal after controversial decision

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Mamma Mia! poised to be biggest Chemainus Theatre show ever

Plenty of buzz as Island dinner theatre schedules ABBA-fueled romp

New book from Island author details social history of the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River.

Most Read