‘A one red rose man’: Brandon retirement residents reminisce on decades-old love stories – CTV News Winnipeg

A Valentine’s Day project at a retirement home in Brandon is bringing back memories for residents – memories of decades-old love stories, Friday night dances in small towns, and a long-distance courtship defined by a single rose.

Project Valentines is on at Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens, an assisted-living retirement residence in Brandon.

Joyce Scantlebury, the wellness coordinator at Rotary Villas, and her team have gathered copies of residents’ wedding day photos. Each photo indicates if residents know the bride, groom or both. From there they have to guess who they think the lovebirds in the photo are.

“There’s been a lot of stir up about these pictures and people are reminiscing and they are really enjoying looking at pictures – you can feel the pride in those pictures,” Scantlebury said.

project valentines 1 5778774 1644633956220Project Valentines is on at Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens, an assisted-living retirement residence in Brandon. (Source: Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens/Facebook)

Jackie Jarvin, a resident at Rotary Villas, is among those whose picture is hanging on the wall – a picture of her and her husband Clem who passed away in 2017.

She said the wall brings back memories of the first time she met him.

“My husband lived across the street but I did not know him at all until I met him at my sister’s wedding. He was a groomsman and I was a bridesmaid,” she said.

The wedding took place in a Catholic church, though Jarvin says she wasn’t Catholic.

“The priest said to genuflect at the altar. I genuflected on the wrong knee, and the priest yelled at me, and I grabbed Clem’s arm and from then on we started courting long-distance,” she said.

“Every time he came to see me, he picked up a red rose in Portage la Prairie and brought it to me in Winnipeg. He was a one red rose man for everything – every anniversary, every birthday, the birth of the children.”

The two got married in 1959.

Resident Betty Naylen and her husband John also have a picture up on the wall – though Naylen says she isn’t the best at guessing who’s-who in the photos.

“We’ve been in Rotary Villa here for three years. We know most of the people here but I tell you, it was very hard. We didn’t recognize any of them in the photos,” she said.

Naylen, who grew up in a small town, says she and John went to dances together on Friday nights and eventually the two started dating.

They got married in 1964, and are getting ready to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in July.

“It did definitely bring a lot of memories of not only that day, but of our whole life together,” she said, adding she has five children, 12 grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

“We’re very proud of our family and love them all very much.”

project valentines 1 5778776 1644633998196Project Valentines is on at Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens, an assisted-living retirement residence in Brandon. (Source: Rotary Villas at Crocus Gardens/Facebook)

Scantlebury said the whole project is not only a fun way for residents to reminisce, but it is also good for their mental health.

“You know it brings back all the stories of how they met and how their life went with their marriage. And it’s just a real good, feel-good story,” she said.

Residents will be giving their best guess on who is in the photos. The identities of all the pictures will be revealed on Valentine’s Day.