No need to fall down a rabbit hole with Alice to find mad hatters. Crazy Hat Days are just part of the fun theme events that are featured at the Prince George Chateau. The local residence for seniors was built three years ago.
“Everyone came down for dinner dressed in their crazy hats,” said the Chateau’s activities director Lisa Cassidy. “There were hats of all descriptions, most of them collected by the seniors over a long time. Wearing hats to the table is kind of taboo’ around here so they had lots of fun with it.
“Some had tea cozies on their heads – others got very innovative at the last minute and folded their linen serviettes on top of their heads to make hats. One gentleman even put a giant postage stamp on his forehead.”
Themes are popular in the seniors’ residence, she said.
Joyce Shatford entered the room with not one but six felt hats on top of her head.
“I always wear a hat when I go to church on Sundays but I don’t usually wear all my hats at the same time like I did today,” she joked. “I like hats. I have them to match all my outfits. I have straw hats too but when I was deciding what to wear, I picked the felt ones.”
Her husband Bill says he knows the secret of why so many hats.
“She just never knows which one to wear so she decided to wear them all,” Bill Shatford said, winking at his wife. For the special occasion he chose a black bowler hat with white ribbons. For Chateau resident Dave Bowman, the Crazy Hat Day took him back in time.
“There were 12 of us playing with the Prince George branch of B.C. Old Time Fiddlers for the crowds at Expo 1986 and I was wearing this hat,” he said, tugging on the rim of his feather feature hat.
“We all had one. So there’s a little bit of history here.”
Bernice Durward had a family connection to her big blue “crazy” hat.
“My granddaughter had this blue polka dot hat and matching big tie (it’s so long, it falls past her knees) in her cedar chest. She was actually saving it for her grandchildren. So I decided to wear it.”
The Prince George Chateau residents celebrate special events all during the year, said Cassidy.
“We’ve been chosen, one of two [Holiday] residences in Canada for a special pilot project for Active Aging Week featuring a variety of seniors activities, some of which will be open to the public. We’ll have art classes and different events of interest to seniors.”
The special event takes place the week of Sept. 24, Cassidy said.