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Life at Canterbury is a place where new friendships are made and a senior’s life can continue in a comfortable & relaxing atmosphere.

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Senior Spotlight: John Pich - Ace of Cards & Active Canterbury Resident

The next time you’re strolling along to the melodies of the Canterbury “Sing for Fun” group gathered in the Court, stop and take a listen.  Mixed into the background music you might hear the slap of a few swift cards softly hitting a table. One by one, from the nimble fingers of Canterbury resident John Pich.

“I play cards to keep my brain busy,” says John. “Otherwise I’d be singing in the choir, but you don’t want to hear that,” he laughs, “I’m not a singer.”   What John says he lacks in musical talent, he makes up for with his quick wit and card shark skills. He organizes crib tournaments for residents, and has come up with a unique way of playing solitaire.

“I like to innovate games,” says the retired banker who clearly has a talent for numbers. “When I play this solitaire game I play my version of it.  I change the rules to make it a bit simpler otherwise the deck has all the rules. It’s still a challenge, I like challenging myself but it’s slightly modified.”  This comes in handy; as he estimates he now wins about 50 % of the time, and likes those odds better.

Playing cards isn’t the only favourite past-time of this 85-year-old gentleman, who’s lived at the facility for the last five years.  “I like the staff here, the food, and the attitudes,” explains John about Canterbury. “And I like that fact that we are free. We can go out and do excursions – I just love it.”  John is referring to the many extra interesting field trips the seniors have options to take in and around Edmonton, that include a lunch and a comfy ride on a coach bus.  

John says he’s been roughly 50 excursions – to farmers’ markets, recreational facilities, major stores, parks, and farms like the recent popular Alpaca farm visit residents took part over the summer.  One of his personal favourite outings is to Sherwood Park to the flying club to watch remote control planes fly, as he has an avid interest in WW ll planes. John values exploring and learning new things as he matures in age, and jumps at every opportunity.  “Any place the bus goes, I go!”

John has been around the country too – before he retired he worked for 35 years in the banking industry, and his job took him to faraway places like New York, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.  He eventually found his way back to Alberta and inherited the family farm from his father. After working on it, he passed it down to his nephew and is proud that it will continue to stay with relatives for generations to come.  

John is a “Jack of All Trades” with his knowledge of finances and farming, and even sold insurance during his career.  He has words of wisdom from the variety of work he’s had along the way, and is satisfied with the choices he’s made and what life has dealt.   “You choose the job,” he says, “it doesn’t choose you.” He adds “There is such a thing as being happy at what you do, and that’s part of your happiness.  That’s what makes a full life, is your happiness. Your happiness at work, your happiness at play, your happiness at home and with your family. That’s what it’s all about.  And I’m happy here…being retired.”  

The Canterbury residents are lucky to have a thoughtful and interesting neighbour like John Pich.  Thank you John for keeping our residents entertained with your stories, card skills and games. And for your message that staying positive, active and happy in our later years, is the best winning strategy of all!