When Erin Mills Lodge became part of the larger Schlegel Villages family in 2016, it brought along a core team of people who’d grown close through many years of service and dedication to the people of Mississauga. The small, family-like home said goodbye to two of those people in late-November during a retirement celebration to honour Mary Whelan and Sylvia Mancini, who collectively served the residents and families of Erin Mills Lodge for nearly 40 years.
As general manager, Mary brought and unwavering sense of dependability to the home, say team members who’ve worked with her over the years. In the face of difficulty, the team could rely on her to approach any challenge with a great sense of calm.
“One of the qualities that stands out for me when I think about Mary was her great decision-making,” says Elaine Eerkes, who has served the home for more than 30 years in many different capacities. “We could go to her and know that the answer she gave us was going to be right. She just had a way of knowing . . . and she would always steer us in the right direction.”
Director of nursing care Sharon Bell echoes Elaine’s perspective on Mary’s strength, and she has learned much from the experience of working at Mary’s side.
“Mary taught me to ‘just breathe’ and think things through before jumping into whatever,” Sharon says. “She listens, she offers suggestions and has been a great friend all these years.”
As the director of food services, Sylvia brought many of the same qualities to the home and Sharon says the team and residents always benefitted from her commitment, especially during special events. She was always organized. “We never had to worry about the food or drink or staffing” Sharon says, recalling the many special occasions over the year. “She just did it when she knew when, where and for how many.”
“Attention to detail,” is what Elaine first mentions when she speaks of Sylvia. “She always tried to do her best for the residents during meals and she wouldn’t go home without making sure everything was in place.”
Both Sylvia and Mary embody the core team member attributes Schlegel Villages values: they approached their work with passion and dedication; they worked hard and faced challenges knowing in their hearts that solutions exist; they worked hard and were always willing to lend a hand.
They served their teams with distinction and the Erin Mills Lodge Family and Schlegel Villages as a whole is grateful for their service. Their example will be a reminder for all to follow.