At Saanich Peninsula Hospital, long-term care residents started their morning with a classic car show in the hospital parking lot.
That was the appetizer, but the main course was unveiled in the hospital’s memory garden.
Today marked the unveiling of a restoration project two years in the making — A 1947 Chrysler Sedan, donated to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital’s long-term care unit.
“An important piece of this garden is activities that re-stimulate memories,” said Karen Morgan, president and CEO of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Healthcare foundation. “Now what you see is a gorgeous car that people can sit in and remember times where people went on car trips.”
Many of the long-term care patients live with Alzheimer’s or dementia, so this shiny set of wheels also works as a valuable trip down memory lane, aiming to improve the patients’ quality of life.
“These were in our family and I remember going up to the cottage very specifically,” said long-term care resident Greg Brady, while sitting in the driver seat.
Enthusiasts from the Torque Masters Car Club volunteered countless hours on the project, turning a once rat-infested old jalopy, into a head-turning gem.
Long-time Torque Masters club member Peter Black played a key role in its transformation and says the project took on an extra personal meaning.
“My mother had Alzheimer’s towards the end of her life,” said Black. “So when I heard about this it was just a perfect fit, you know because I love cars and it’s just a great payback.”
“We live in an extraordinary community,” said Morgan. “We have a community where people go above and beyond.”
The vehicle will stay in the hospital’s garden, providing daily smiles and timeless memories.