107 years young at Villa Forum
Maria Luigina Grimaldi is joined by extensive family for celebrations
When Maria Luigina Grimaldi celebrated her birthday on March 8 at her home in Toronto’s Villa Forum she was joined by her six children, 19 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.
Her family is her most celebrated legacy after 107 years living life to its fullest, says Villa Forum program support service manager Pamela Hocaluk, and the staff, management and fellow residents at the home were proud to share such a wonderful celebration of life with them.|
“Just to see the look on her face and to have her family there with her, it was really awesome,” says Hocaluk.
There was a fair amount of co-ordination to pull of the celebration but the effort was well worth it, Hocaluk adds. Wonderful food, fresh flowers and her favourite entertainer, Rossario D'amico, helped make Grimaldi’s celebration a memorable one.
“There were a lot of people involved just to make the day really special for her,” and though a large celebration such as this can sometimes be a little overwhelming, Hocaluk says the guest of honour simply took it all in, while guests reflected on a remarkable life.
Grimaldi, who was born in 1905 in San Marco in Lamis in Italy’s province of Foggia in 1905, came to Canada in 1928 to be with her husband, Gabriele, who had already made the move.
He set up an Italo-Canadiane travel agency, and the beginnings of the family roots were firmly planted in Canada.
In 2002, Maria was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, given to Canadians who made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, their community, and to the country itself in the previous 50 years.
In remarks shared at the party, Maria’s nephew, MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence), said “My Aunt Luigina is a splendid person. She never complained or took holidays. I do not remember ever having seen her sick, or in a hospital up until two years ago.”
She continued to live with her daughters up until a few months ago when she moved into Villa Forum, where Colle says “she has won the sympathy and affection of everyone around her.”
Hocaluk says hosting the memorable event was an pleasure.
“We’re just very honoured to have her as one of our residents and we were thrilled to be able to do what we did to make her day and make her family welcome,” she says.
If you have a story to share, please call 800-294-0051, ext. 24, or e-mail kristian(at)axiomnews.ca.
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