Senior Residence Car Shows

Classic car owners shared themselves as well as their rides with Hastings Manor residents and staff Saturday afternoon.

Jennifer LaClair, Elfrieda Moroney, and Maureen Slyne

Jennifer LaClair, Elfrieda Moroney, and Maureen Slyne

Despite a little sprinkling of rain, spirits were un-dampen. Good music, snacks and beautiful classic cars were the right ingredients to bring smiles to many faces.

“This event is great for our community,” said Jennifer LeClair, Hasting Manor Activities Co-coordinator. “It is an opportunity to connect with our community, a chance for everybody, especially our residents to reminisce, and a great family event.”

Hastings Manor began in 1908 as a seniors residence. Hastings Manor was built at its current location, 476 Dundas Street West, Belleville, Ont. in 1951. By 2000 it was upgrade to a long-term facility serving Hasting County, Quinte West, and Belleville that has 253 beds, 24-hour nursing and personal care, 2 Palliative Care suites, and a secure Alzheimer’s unit.

Steve, Barry and Elaine Whaley

Steve, Barry and Elaine Whaley

For Steve Whaley and his wife Elaine this event has a very personal connection. Steve’s brother Barry was involved in a horrific car accident 28 years ago. Barry has been a long time resident at Hastings Manor and always loved cars. Their mother was very active in helping to raise funds to upgrade the facility.

When Steve was 14 years-old he was already working on cars at Jack’s Auto Body, Trenton Ont. He fell in love with the Mini’s when he did his first body job on one! When Steve was 14 years-old he was already working on cars at Jack’s Auto Body, Trenton Ont.

Though small in size the Mini is considered to be the second most influential car built behind the Ford Model T. It has a transverse mounted engine that allowed for 80% of its over-all length to be used for passengers. It was also configured as a pick-up, a delivery van, and a military use vehicle. The Mini was produced in several countries world wide from 1959 until 2000 totaling 5,387,862 units.

Steve was born and raised in the Quinte region and graduated Trenton High School, 98 % in automotive. His first real job was at Quinte Bumper and Fender as a delivery driver, using a Mazda pick-up, he soon graduated to a 5-ton truck. He successfully passed his drivers test at 18 years-old and got his “A” ticket and has been driving transport for 30 years. He currently drivers for Cooney Transport Ltd., Belleville Ont.

1976 Austin Mini GT 1275

1976 Austin Mini GT 1275

14 years ago Steve had decided to seek out the passion of his youth. Originally he was looking for a Mini to restore, when he stumbled on a fully restored one in Whitby Ont. It had been imported from New Zealand and resorted by Tom Sawyer, Whitby Ont. It is a right-hand drive Mini 1275 GT. It has won two Peoples Choice Awards and a best of ’70’s, all at the Prince Edward Auto Clubs annual Street Meet. (Elaine is unable to drive the car). But Steve says that is OK, because he can’t drive the dishwasher!

A friendly reminder the next Senior Residence Car Shows is September 19th in Stirling Ont.

photos and story by bill samuel

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