Tam Kwai Lan
It starts with an idea
For almost 40 years after she co-founded St. Stephen's Chinese Seniors group, Tam Kwai Lan remained very much a part of life at the House. In 2003 she started participating in St. Stephen's Community House's Adult Day Service program.
"She loved the company here," says her daughter Tam Goossen." She said it was so much better than being by herself. The seniors program is a real community. She missed them the days they didn't do programming. A lot of the seniors did. They did lots of activities. They did Tai Chi. They went on great trips in the summer. They visited parks. The other thing my mom liked was that she got to be in the company of the Portuguese seniors. She really liked the intercultural exchange. The Portuguese seniors like playing games with the Chinese seniors and the two groups were always swapping stories. There's a lot of common ground; they'd done their child-raising years, but they weren't ready for nursing homes yet. And my mum really enjoyed the homemade Portuguese food!"
Tam Kwai Lan passed away in April 2012 and is sorely missed by everyone at St. Stephen's.