Alex welcomed the Club to the facility.  He said he was a Field Manager in Insurance in 1970 when his wife thought they should buy a 21 bed operation on Yonge St.  It was 6,000 sq. ft. and had no elevator and while he kept his job in Toronto he also became bath attendant and elevator boy.  He couldn't keep up the two so moved to Midland.  In 1972 the Province started to take more oversight, trying to standardize fees and services and Alex did some organizing and lobbying.  They had been planning a new place but construction was put on hold till 76. 
They did start to build and planned to exceed standards.  They made the dining room big enough to serve all residents at once and provided activity areas.  They took over the Coldwater building, which was old and took a lot of work.  The Villa achieved accreditation.  They introduced respiet beds and a day care program.  In 1985 they opened the Villa/Lodge so a person who was still more independent could be near a spouse who needed more care. 
They took on facilities in Orangeville and Haileybury, bidding and winning against chain operations, and took on a place in Manitoulin which was only 60 beds.  A place that size has almost all the costs of one as large as 100 beds but, of course, less income, so they are difficult but many smaller places can't support larger homes and people want to be near families.
London and Chatham were next.  Alex was active in the OLTC Assoc. and served as President, which meant dealing with the government, always problematic because a change in government often meant changes in policies.  They recruited volunteers, engaged in lobbying, he wrote a book and in 2002 they took licenses in Leacock, Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville and North Hamilton and Jarlette became the biggest family owned chain.  They won the OLTC quality improvement award and Leacock won an Innovations award and will be competing at a national event.
Accreditation means they have met or exceeded standards on a checklist of over 400 - Barrie received only 13 recommendations and no orders.  They have constantly tried to optimize building efficiencies and involve residents in decisions and activities.
Alex said he had travelled extensively and, while providing care anywhere is difficult Canada always compares well against facilities in other countries he's seen.  He and his staff offered members of the Club a tour and the meeting adjourned.