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)

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through 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 Tuesday (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.”

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

READ MORE: 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

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Powerful thunderstorms called for the West Kootenay this weekend

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Thursday afternoon.

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read