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Giant birthday party popular happening at HCH

One joint event a month

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BRAMPTON, Ontario - Birthdays at Holland Christian Homes (HCH), a six tower complex which is home to many hundreds of Dutch Canadian retirees, are most memorable happenings. Hundreds turn out to help celebrate the birthdays. The age bracket of the birthday ‘boys and girls’ steadily is creeping to the high end: the oldest one in March now is 95. The March group numbered 72, with six over 90. The collective birthday bash each month also can be viewed on closed circuit television.

The monthly gathering is open to every one in the complex and is a much appreciated event. Many of the birthday get-togethers are attended by musical groups such as the York and Simcoe Christian Make Choir which gave March’s a fine selection of its repertoire, directed by Henry Bergsma.

A group of women, most of them from outside the complex, host the parties but also take care of post-funeral receptions, semi-annual benefit (craft, baking and plants) sales and coffee socials at one of several auditoriums.

In another fine Dutch tradition, the birthday celebrants usually take home a colourful reminder of the event as well, a plant, often a potted mum. The December poinsettia only confirms the rule.

The monthly birthday parties have been going on since Trinity Tower, HCH’s oldest facility, opened its doors in 1979 which serves as a reminder that this complex which no doubt has the largest Dutch Canadian concentration anywhere in the country, is about due for its own birthday party.