In 2004, after serving proudly as the President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society and the Scottish Home for nearly 20 years, I retired and passed my office to Gus Noble. When I reflect on this, something powerful comes to my mind – the permanence of this great organization.
Today, as I look upon how Gus, his team and our Board of Governors are responding to the unprecedented threat of COVID-19, I recognize the values of the early Scots, I see things future generations will be grateful for and I feel the indomitable spirit of our Scottish Society.
Since 1845 we have been led by generations of visionary Scots. Just as the legacies of the early Scots guided my work as President, their legacies now guide Gus. My legacy does too.
Having stood in the shoes Gus now wears, I know how heavily decisions weigh upon him. It must have been difficult to lock the 103-year old front doors of the Scottish Home for the first time ever. This decision kept residents from their families, but it is protecting lives.
I appreciate that caution has informed our every response to COVID-19. And, as Gus has reassured us, caution will continue to inform our approach as we take our first, intentional and deliberate steps on a path that will safely unlock and reopen Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care.
Gus has shared with us what he sees behind the locked doors of Caledonia Senior Living. He sees residents and staff living out a commitment to care for one another. This commitment runs deep. 175 years deep. This Society’s legacy of care is found in the hearts of the people who live and work at Caledonia Senior Living and all of us who can’t be on the other side of those doors, but still hold it dear in our hearts.
The enduring resonance of the Society is also evident in the plans that Gus and the Governors have in place to refresh and revitalize the look and feel of the 103-year-old Scottish Home when a new level of normalcy has returned. Here’s something I know for sure:
Our small Home has a big heart and an impeccable record of safety – this will be very important in a post COVID-19 world, where genuine, authentic care is the most valued commodity of all.
Our job as people who admire and believe in the purpose, the promise, and the permanence of this Society is to offer to Gus, his team and the Board our encouragement and philanthropic support.
I want to congratulate Gus, our Board and our staff for their determination while leading us safely through this COVID-19 crisis. In crisis comes character. The character being shown by these Scots only deepens my conviction in the permanence of this great Society.