Frank Phillips receives a visit from wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary March 31. Social distancing prevented the two from being any closer that day. (Submitted photo)

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

Neither social distancing, nor the COVID-19 pandemic could keep a couple on Vancouver Island from celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary this week.

Frank Phillips, former managing editor of the Nanaimo Daily Free Press and Vancouver Island Real Estate Board president, currently resides at Nanaimo Seniors Village, in Nanaimo, B.C., due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vascular dementia, according to daughter Linda Roden. Because of measures aimed at preventing spread of coronavirus, wife Rena and he weren’t able to celebrate their March 31 anniversary together, but did visit with a window and wall providing separation.

The couple met in Scotland in 1958 and emigrated to Canada in 1978, also on March 31, and while Rena said celebrating their anniversary with social distancing was difficult, it was nice to see her husband on their special day. The two have shared so much together, she said.

“Frank likes to touch and hug me and I like the same … it was just that connection, that smile. I felt completely connected to him and I’ve always felt that way,” Rena told the News Bulletin. “He tells me and tells everybody, the minute he saw me, he fell in love and that was it.”

With B.C. health officials recommending people stay home, Roden said it has been difficult on her parents, as her mother is used to visiting her father daily. Her mother does call daily to check in on her father, however, as he doesn’t know how to operate a phone any longer, or use mobile phone apps such as FaceTime.

Rena said she isn’t sure when her next visit will take place.

“I can’t go again unless I can get in to be with him,” said Rena. “It’s too painful.”

Despite the fact her parents aren’t visiting on a regular basis, Roden said she is pleased with the care her father is receiving at Nanaimo Seniors Village.

“They’re wonderful with him, said Roden. “They’re being very kind to him and very caring. We don’t have a concern that way at all. I know there’s been a lot of bad publicity over the [past] year with Nanaimo Seniors [Village] and we’ve seen changes, but the staff that work there are exceptional, so that’s not an issue.”

RELATED: Measures taken at care homes in light of COVID-19

RELATED: New COVID-19 cases in B.C., but 57% have recovered



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Chilliwack school board censures trustee Barry Neufeld after controversial Facebook post

Board chair issues statement on censure but little else regarding Facebook post controversy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

Most Read