Golden Hills Lodge celebrates Golden Anniversary



Current and former residents, board members, and staff, celebrated 50 years of the Golden Hills Lodge on Saturday, September 11th. The event was " an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social" and despite the chilly weather, it was enjoyable. "Hearts in Harmony" performed for the function. Many dignitaries were in attendance to commemorate the occasion, including the first board chair Mr. Ralph Brown, and the first secretary treasurer Mr. Gordon King.
In 1958, the Alberta Social Credit Government had 50 million dollars, acquired from oil revenue, that they had planned to spend on the construction of 50 senior's housing facilities throughout the province. When word of this had spread to Three Hills, Council sent a letter to the Government, requesting that our town be considered as a prospective home. The Government granted the request, and the next step was to find adequate land to begin building. Once the land was chosen, a founding board was established, comprised of personnel from various parts of the Kneehill municipality, to be the administrative body.
The official opening of the Golden Hills Lodge was on November 9th, 1960. The building was designed to accommodate 50 residents, with 18 double rooms, and 14 single rooms, plus the kitchen area, and dining and sitting rooms. Each room had a toilet and sink, and there was a tub/shower room located in each wing. The monthly rent, which included room and board, was $60, and at that time, each senior citizen received a $65 Government Pension cheque. Some seniors were reluctant to part with that much of their cheque, so consequently not too many booked in right away. But it didn't take long for people to realize how beneficial the Lodge really was, and soon there was need for more space.
The Lodge has seen years of additions and renovations, beginning in 1975, with eight new suites added to the east. Then in 1983, an extra 21 new suites with full bathrooms were added to the south. 10 more suites were added between 1998 and 1999, and the original rooms were expanded, with full bathrooms installed. In 2001, the size of the Lodge increased again, and was expanded to accommodate 14 additional suites. Just this past year, new offices were added.
In 1995, the Alberta Government regionalized all seniors housing in the Municipality and created the Kneehill Housing Corporation, which manages the Lodge, and seniors self-contained housing, as well as low income family housing. The mission of the Kneehill Housing Corporation is to provide housing and living options in a quality lifestyle environment. It is apparent that the Golden Hills Lodge provides comfortable living, and top-notch, friendly staff, who form relationships with the residents, making the Lodge less like a facility and more like a home.