Michael Wickstrom presents Cathie Wilson of the North Island Crisis Line with a donation from funds raised when Wickstrom took part in the Polar Bear Swim in Port McNeill Jan. 1.

Michael Wickstrom presents Cathie Wilson of the North Island Crisis Line with a donation from funds raised when Wickstrom took part in the Polar Bear Swim in Port McNeill Jan. 1.

Janet Wasden’s years of dedication to seniors lauded at retirement

More than 250 people honoured Wasden April 2 for her many years of working at the non-profit 'Maya'ant Centre for seniors.

ALERT BAY –  After 33 years of caring for seniors, Janet Wasden is retiring.

More than 250 people honoured Wasden April 2 for her many years of working at the non-profit ‘Maya’ant Centre for seniors.

As a  community health representative from ‘Namgis First Nation, Wasden was a busy woman working with the seniors Monday to Friday doing footcare, planning seniors luncheons, portering seniors to doctor and dentist appointments, driving the senior women to Aquafit at Port Hardy pool, helping with income tax and wills and driving the seniors to Aunt Mary’s (Mary Jane Hanuse) home for Kwakwala hymn singing and the planning of the annual bazaar at Christ Church.

Friends and family traveled from Tsulquate, Kingcome, Gilford Island, Quatsino, Fort Rupert and Sointula to honour Wasden.  Several chiefs honoured Janet Wasden for her hard work and efforts.

To show her appreciation to everyone, Wasden  handed out photo books that  reflected her time at the centre. Many of the people pictured in the albums have died and the gift was well received.

“What you give out you get back,” said Wasden of her years of service. “We gave them love and respect and that is what we get, love and respect in return.”

Wasden was particularly grateful to her assistant Christina Cook who, along with the seniors, prepared the meal and organized the celebration.

“Christine was a huge asset and wonderful to work with,” said Wasden.

When asked about her retirement plans, Janet Wasden smiled.

“My retirement plans, giving back to mom, love and respect.”