My Great Aunt Belle, Isabelle Beckett Masterton moved into the “ Home” in Paterson, and if I remember correctly, was one of the first to move into the new facility in North Haledon. My parents always picked up Aunt Belle to spend time with our family for Holidays, vacations,etc. When my siblings and I began to drive, we would pick her up, and always be introduced to various staff members, her “neighbors”,etc…I am quite sure, after many visits, Auntie was happy to back at the “ Home” after her rollicking visits w/ her nephew George’s large family…Aunt Belle was quite content at The Holland Home and loved taking walks to feed the ducks…we all loved the “ adventure” of going into the Home over many.many years…am sure this memory is shared by lots of others who did the same with their loved ones…Congratulations on the big milestone !
I remember being here as a kid, joining my dad for Sunday dinners (he was the Spiritual Director at the time). I would often "sneak" away to the chapel to practice the piano – or so I thought! Many residents would overhear me, making sure I didn't know they were listening.
A favorite memory was spending Christmas Day here one year. I must have been maybe 10 years old. Proud of all the Christmas music I had learned on the piano, I played carols before and after dinner. One resident scolded me for not leaving out a hat for tips!
It has been absolute blessing to return to the Home as an adult. It's no surprise to me that this community has endured for 125 years. May God continue to bless the Home and use it to serve many.
When I first began working at the Holland Christian Home, the Business Office consisted of only 2 employees – the Finance Associate and me! It was a nice little job, but when I started I told my husband that I could see myself staying at it for maybe 2 or 3 years. Fast forward 20 years later and while I’ve changed positions and titles a few times, I’m happy to say I’m still working at the Holland Christian Home! What I came to realize, and what I think is true for most employees (no matter what department they are in), is that working at the Home is more than a job; it’s a ministry and a calling. Providing compassionate care – whether it’s helping with a bill, mailing a package, cleaning a room, or actual medical care – is all a way of showing the love of Christ to our residents. That is the heart of the HCH and the foundation on which the Home is built. What a privilege to work here and be part of the 125 year legacy!
When I started working at HCH in 2005, I realized my Great Aunt Dina Breen was a resident of the Home. It was so nice to see her after so many years. During the years she was a resident here, we had many reminiscent conversations about our family and her love of tracing the Breen family tree and the history of their emigration from the Netherlands. Aunt Dina did not use a computer…she wrote letters to family in the Netherlands, spoke to family here in the USA seeking information on past generations. Aunt Dina typed (yes, on a typewriter) a family tree dating back to 1662 that includes my generation and our children! I was so pleased that she gave me a copy! God truly blessed me seeing Aunt Dina every day. She was a resident who felt so blessed to be here, always with a smile on her face, taking part in many of the activities. One of my favorite memories is when she would stop in the Business Office to sharpen her pencils so that she always had a sharp pencil to play one of her favorite word games – Sudoku! The Home was blessed to have Aunt Dina as a resident here.
I worked in the kitchen during the 70’s while in high school and college, making some life-long friends in the process. When I got married, I said I only knew how to cook for 140 people! There was no air conditioning in the Home in those days, and we all went downstairs to the cooler (walk-in refrigerator) on our breaks for relief from the heat of the kitchen. Who remembers Minnie Ensley and Clara the Cook? Later, my in-laws John & Elsie Vander Ploeg served as superintendents of the Home for 12 years. As a toddler, my daughter loved to tag along with my father-in-law at the Home. Still years later, both of my parents, Charlie and Hilda Borduin, were residents at the Home, and spent the remainder of their lives being cared for in the nursing unit. And now I have been employed for the last 11 years working for the Foundation. Lots of history for me here! So thankful to be a small part of the 125 years of this ministry!