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R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish 60th anniversary celebration set for Wednesday afternoon

The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish will mark its 60th anniversary with an open house Tuesday, from 2 to 4 p.m., in its main dining room. Corey LeBlanc
The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish will mark its 60th anniversary with an open house Wednesday, from 2 to 4 p.m., in its main dining room. Corey LeBlanc - Corey LeBlanc

The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish will mark its 60th anniversary with an open house Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 3).    

The community celebration will take place, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the home’s dining room.    

Affectionately known as ‘The R.K.,’ it was constructed through financial contributions from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha’s and R.K. MacDonald and his wife.    

As a reflection of their commitment to bringing such a facility to the community, the Marthas took out a mortgage on Bethany Motherhouse to provide a monetary boost and staffed the facility during its early years.    

The Pleasant Street nursing care facility welcomed its first resident – Joseph Cesale, 92, of Havre Boucher, Antigonish County – on Feb. 24, 1958.    

During the R.K.’s golden anniversary celebration in 2008, there was the unveiling of a photo of Cesale, with a suitcase at his feet, being greeted by home administrator Sister M.J. MacGillivray and receptionist Mary MacIntosh.    

The photo continues to hang in the R.K.’s main entrance.    

In 1970, the Town of Antigonish and Municipality of the County of Antigonish endorsed the incorporation of R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home and purchased the facility from the Sisters of St. Martha.    

Two years later, in 1972, there was the addition of a care area, one now known as Tanglewood.    

Martha’s Place was added during a 1997 expansion, while Thistledown and Cobblestone Cottages came in 2011.    

The open house celebration will include ‘reflections of the home’ from Sister Brendalee Boisvert, Martha congregation leader, and Pat Walsh, a former member of the R.K. board of directors.

The R.K., which is home to 136 residents, has approximately 265 staff members.

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