At Victoria Landing, residents were assigned a certain seat to sit at meals and could not sit otherwise.  It was not this way for breakfast and I was in the habit of sitting with a good friend, Bert Delmage. One morning after I had collected my meal, which by the way was Continental (serving ourselves), I proceeded to my usual table only to find that a new couple was already sitting there. For a moment I stood with my tray, looking about to determine where I would sit.  An attractive lady approached me to invite me to her table which seated six. I accepted and sat beside her at breakfast from then on.

This lady (her name was/is Pam Stacy) and I seemed very comfortable with each other and I enjoyed her company as well as the other four sitting at the table which included the 99 year old gentleman (Ernie) that I sat with during the assigned seating. Also a couple (Onie and Ozzie) who were 94 years old and married for 74 years. They were a wonderful couple and we very much enjoyed these breakfasts with them.  For my stay at Victoria Landing they were considered to be “best friends”.

At this time there was a television program on PBS called, “Call The Midwife” which I enjoyed very much.  In the course of conversation with Pam at the breakfast table, I learned that she was not only a retired nurse and a qualified Midwife, but had also taken her nurses training in London England in the same area and time period that this television series was taking place. When I told Pam about this coincidence, she informed me she was not an avid television viewer and had never heard of this program.  I told her that I owned a high definition 65 inch TV and invited her to come watch it with me the following Sunday night. She accepted my invitation, came to my suite and watched it and enjoyed it very much.

We, therefore made a habit of spending each following Sunday night together watching this splendid program, until, oh woe!, the season came to an end.  I realized I was going to have to find another program which would interest her.  At that I explored “Netflix and found the perfect program. It was called, “Mr.Selfridge” and the subject matter was about the second largest department store in London. Again, this was of great interest to Pam as, before she began her nurse’s training, she had been employed at the largest store in London called, “Harrods”.

It became a ritual for Pam to come to my suite to watch this series which we both enjoyed very much.  After a bit, we would hold hands while watching TV and also I would venture a hug when she arrived and as she left.  After 2 or 3 months of this I plucked up the courage to give her a big kiss.  Her response led me to believe she was expecting it.  Whew!

 And so began a period of courting.  I, 85 years old and Pam, 13 months younger so we were living proof that as the saying goes,  “You are never too old”.  We would go out for coffee and short drives together but I recall that our first real date was a Saturday afternoon when we went to a musical play in Virden.  I have to admit that I was a bit nervous but I think I must have conducted myself alright as she consented to go out with me again. Ha Ha.

It was of course very important to me that my two daughters, Heather and Donna approve of this growing relationship between Pam and me. They met her and liked her very much so the next step was for me to meet her family. About this time period Pam moved out of Victoria Landing and into the newly built and just opened, “Rotary Villas” on 10th Street.  Heather had arrived from Alberta for a visit and while she was here, we had accepted a tour of the Villas, conducted by of course, Pam.  Coincidentally at the termination of the tour, Pam’s daughter Susan had dropped in for a quick visit so not only had I at last met her but Heather and Donna met her as well.

Pam’s 84th birthday was on the 22nd of August and Sue had a party at her home on Poplar Drive.  I was of course invited so met many more of her eight grown up “children”.  It was during this birthday Party that Pam announced to her family that she and I were to be wed on the first of September. Of course her children were in a state of shock. At least they had lots to talk about on their way home to Winnipeg.. Was this rushing things?  Yes, you could say that but considering our age, why waste time!

It was a very small wedding held outdoors in front of the tiny church-like structure on Grand Valley Road where it meets #1 Highway. Present were Sue and her husband Rick,  Donna and our good friends from Victoria  Landing, Onie and Ozzie. After the ceremony we retired to Blue Kitchen for the very mini reception. From there Pam and I left for Minot and our “honeymoon”.

After our return to Brandon we entered into a strange period as I was still living at Victoria Landing and of course Pam was now at Rotary Villas.  For sure there was much visiting back and forth until I finally made the move and Rotary Villas became my home on October 17th.  Pam had previously lived in Suite 127 on the ground floor and our new suite was 215 on the 2nd floor.  Donna as usual was a huge help in the move doing much of the physical things I could not do.  As a matter of fact that day I was physically incapable of carrying Pam across the threshold. The problem was solved however because Donna had provided a wheelbarrow to move some of the goods from Victoria Landing.  Yes, Pam consented to be carried across the threshold in the wheelbarrow.  I still have the picture to prove it!

Again, more surgery!  On November 2nd I was the recipient of a brand new right hip.  The surgery went very well as I had the same surgeon who did my left knee, one Doctor Samuels who was/is a very fine doctor and gentleman. I was well into the healing process until it was discovered I had a deep seated infection in the hip joint with the sad result I had to report to Outpatients at the hospital three times a day for IV treatment.  This continued for about a month with little success in reducing the infection, therefore another surgery was necessary to clean out the infection.

After this second surgery Pam and I continued (yes, she accompanied me each and every time) to visit Outpatients, thankfully only twice per day.  The sutures had been removed again and every blood test revealed that I still had an infection as well as the condition of the incision which continued to fester and would not heal. After fourteen months of infection and two “pic” lines where the IV was introduced, I underwent a third surgery with the result two sutures that had been left inside the wound had been revealed.

Very shortly after, Pam and I flew to London, England, courtesy of Philip, Pam,s oldest son who is a Vice President of Technologies within the ”Myers, Norris and Penny” empire.  Philip had a wealth of airmiles which made this wonderful trip possible. Now I have to tell you about Tom. His last name is Bruun and he lives in Denmark. Tom read my “Narrative” on the internet about twelve years ago. He liked what he read and wrote an email telling me about himself and how much he enjoyed what he read,   He had a few lessons on the Pipes and revealed that he didn’t have a piper’s uniform.  Now, coincidentally, my very good friend Zane Matiation had died of cancer shortly before this and I had somehow inherited Zane’s uniform. I learned that Tom was about the same size as was Zane so I packaged the complete uniform and mailed it to Tom.  We have been good friends (by email) since then.

When I told Tom that Pam and I were going to London for a holiday, he immediately procured passage from Denmark to London and when Pam and I arrived, I finally met him in person. After our meet we left for our hotel which coincidentally was the very same building that Pam had taken her nurse’s training so many decades earlier. It was then called, The “Dreadnaught” and today is the “Davenport Hotel”.  We spent two full days with Tom before he had to return to Denmark and at the same time Pam and I left for Ireland.  The first day of Tom’s visit was spent at the Imperial War Museum which we enjoyed very much. Luckily I had taken my “Bazpipe” and was able to play a few tunes for Tom.

Pam’s first husband, Seamus O’Brien-Moran was originally from Southern Ireland and his family there had formed a strong lasting relationship with Pam.  It was for the purpose of visiting them that Pam and I left from Heathrow in London to Shannon Airport in Ireland where we were met by Pam’s nephew David who took us to his home in Limerick where we stayed for three days.  He then drove us south to Tramore where we stayed with Barbara.  We stayed with Barbara for four or five more days and while we were there other members of this extended family would pick us up in the morning and adopt us for the day, showing us around the countryside and entertaining us in their homes. Most memorable was the fantastic evening we spent with Niall and Sarah who were so much fun.  The following evening we had a wonderful visit with Jimmy O’Brien-Moran and his wife Marie. Jimmy is a professional Uillean piper (published many C.D.'s).  Luckily I had my Bazpipe so we were able to entertain each other.   I so much enjoyed the time we spent in Ireland as I felt genuinely welcomed (and loved) by the whole family.

When we returned to Heathrow Airport in London, we were met by another niece Sally and her husband Chris who hosted us for the next five days at their home in Dorset.  On the way there I was sitting in the front seat with Chris who was driving.  He asked me if I had been in the service and I told him yes, I had been in the Army for 29 years. He then asked what rank I held on discharge.  I told him I had been a Sgt.  I then asked him what he did when in the Service. He told me he was a pilot on an aircraft carrier.  I then asked him what was his rank and he told me, “Commadore” .  I asked him what  was equivalent rank in the Army.  He answered,  “Brigadier General”  and that he was the Commander on his aircraft carrier.  Wow!  On the way we had passed within sight of Stonehenge but sadly did not stop.

The  next day Chris took Pam and me to an airbase which contains an air museum devoted to Aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm.  A very interesting visit which was highlited by a walk-through of the original Concorde which was packed with test instruments.   Such a wonderful visit ended with Pam and me leaving by taxi for Oxford where we met and had a quick lunch with Angela, another of Pam’s nieces, and her husband Roger.

The following morning we met another nephew, David with his wife Fiona.  We walked from our hotel to the Oxford University and had a very small tour then back down the street for lunch with them. That evening in Oxford we met Don and Andrew (Pam’s nephews) with their families and had a very lovely meal in a very traditional pub. The next day another of Pam’s nieces, Karen came to our hotel, had breakfast with us, then drove us to Farnbourough just outside London to visit overnight with Jennifer and Ken who had been lifetime friends of Pam’s, so we had a very nice visit.  We took them for supper at a high class Italian restaurant where we were disappointed with the quality of food and the service which actually we weren’t able to finish anyway as Jennifer collapsed at the table so we had to leave early.  She recovered quickly and both she and Ken drove us to the Heathrow Hotel the next morning. That afternoon we took a bus to London Centre and met Jane, another of Pam’s nieces.  We had a very nice lunch with her and then while the girls had a nice visit, I went up on the, “London Eye”.  Back to the Heathrow Hotel that evening which I found very entertaining by just sitting at the window of the fourth or fifth floor watching the passenger aircrafts taking off and landing.

Next morning we took the flight out to Pearson Airport in Toronto.  Luckily our aircraft was an almost brand new Boeing 787 and we had first class.  Nothing but the best!  We had a four hour wait at Pearson before our flight to Winnipeg when Ali (Pam’s daughter Alison) came to the Airport for a nice visit with her Mom and me. Altogether, a most enjoyable trip. With only a two day rest at Rotary Villas, we left on a road trip to Alberta, Idaho and Washington.  This trip was the first time I met Pam’s grandson’s Ryan and Devon and their families in Medicine Hat and the first time Pam had met my sister Gloria and her family in Idaho.

It was the spring of 2016 that Donna bought a wee puppy from a breeder just south of Morden. She was a teacup Chihuahua and Donna named her Lily. Pam immediately fell in love with Lily and would have liked to have one just like her but could not because Rotary Villa’s had a surcharge for pets of $250 a month which of course was prohibitive.  Not many weeks later when Pam was at work, I learned that the surcharge for pets was removed and I texted Pam to tell her. She returned the text by saying, "now we can have a dog". I answered the text by saying (with tongue in cheek) OK.  Donna contacted the breeder and found that the only newborn puppy was a "Pomchi", 50% Chihuahua and 50% Pom.   We received a picture of this very tiny puppy and decided that yes, we would get her so we went to pick her up when she was eight weeks old and took her home with us. I later learned  that Pam was very disappointed that we did not have another Lily. On the way home we decided to call her Mandy which was the name that Pam‘s daughter Louise did not have because her dad would not agree to it. After a very short time Pam‘s disappointment about not having a 100% Chihuahua faded and she grew to love Mandy whose birthday incidentally is 5 May 2016.

When I moved into Rotary Villa‘s with Pam we were in Suite 215 on the second floor because now we own a dog, we had to take a suite in what is known as, “Pet Alley”.  We settled with Suite 102 which had two bedrooms and a sunroom and remain here to this present day. We had quickly settled in to a routine with me attending 1/2 hour exercise classes each weekday morning. Pam, at that time was still working full time as a proof reader at "The Phone Book Company".  She was also an active member of the local Rotary Club which had a weekly meeting here at Rotary Villas each and every Tuesday. Pam had the responsibility of setting up the Multi-Purpose room for these meetings.  I helped in small part by setting up the flags.  To celebrate Remembrance Day the club would conduct a ceremony at Canad Inn. I would attend as Pam's guest and contributed to the ceremony by playing the "Lament" on my Bazpipe.

I should mention here that Pam has an extended family of eight children. nineteen grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren.  Over the course of the next few months I slowly met them all and had successfully remembered who was who and belonged to who. Pam's eldest daughter Sue is the only "child" living here in Brandon.  She is a very successful entrepreneur having founded and managed the "Large Print Phone Book Company".  We were also often invited to Holland where Pam's daughter Jacqui lives, when she and husband Don would be hosting some of their family from Winnipeg.

For the first few months at Rotary Villas both Pam and I had our cars which when we looked at it, was an unnecessary expense when one considers the maintenance on both cars as well as the insurance, but also $100 a month per car for the privelidge of having a parking space.  Pam, therefore,  passed her car on to her youngest daughter Louise, who lives in Winnipeg.  Also in Winnipeg are two sons, Richard and Michael.  Michael is a professer at the University of Manitoba and Richard was at that time in Manitoba's film industry as is Louise.

Speaking of her children and films, Pam and I were invited to attend the premier of the movie, "Hyena Road" at the Centenniel Auditorium.  It was a wonderful experience as we were with the VIP's prior to the screening where we had the opportunity to meet and mingle with the stars. Richard was first assistant directer in that film and Louise had a huge role prior to the actual shooting.  We again attended a premier, this time in Brandon to see the movie, " A Dog's Purpose ".

Our first Christmas as a couple was spent at Heather and Ken's home in Olds. Donna was with us as well and of course we had a wonderful holiday. I gifted Pam with a laptop computer for Christmas with an able assist picking it out from Shawn.  I have to tell you that after trying his hand a a variety of jobs in Edmonton, Shawn settled working with an IT firm.  After a couple or more years experience Shawn decided to work for himself so started his own IT firm and named it, "Future IT".  As I write this four years later, Shawn's business is most successful with a full list of clientele.  Pam left Olds early to spend a couple days with her son, Philip in Calgary.  We flew "WestJet" Brandon/Calgary with Donna and me having an enjoyable uneventful flight but poor Pam had really bad luck with her flight having to return to Calgary and not getting out until the following day.  I have always enjoyed visiting with Ken and Heather but one thing that I missed was spending more time with my great grandchildren. Granted Danny and Kyla would always make sure they would also visit there as did David and family, Josh and Andrew.  Bless them all but normally from necessity I got to spend two or three days with the children and they would be just getting to "know" great grampa when it is time for them to leave.

Don Roy Welcome
Narrative I
Narrative II
 Narrative III
 Narrative IV
Narrative V
Narrative VI
Narrative VII
Narrative VIII
Narrative IX
Narrative X
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A Lifetime of Piping
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