BY RUTH EPSTEIN REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Photo above: State Rep. Maria Horn presents Noble Horizons Executive Director William Pond with a citation from the General Assembly and a statement from Gov. Ned Lamont during Tuesday's community picnic to mark Noble's 50th anniversary. Ruth Epstein Republican-American
SALISBURY — Black skies and torrential rains didn’t let those attending Tuesday’s community picnic mar a festive occasion. The skies soon cleared and the celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of Noble Horizons joyfully continued.
Located near the center of Salisbury, the campus was designed as a housing complex for persons 65 and older. According to its historical records, it was made possible through the bequest of the late Ethel Noble of Sharon and New York City. Noble’s vision was to offer housing within the reach of retired, middle-income people so “that they might live out their lives in comfort and dignity.” The interest from her $8.5 million bequest was used to construct the initial 20 cottages, and in honor of the Nobles and their Sharon estate called Blue Horizons, the campus was named Noble Horizons. She worked with her attorney Tom Wagner and his wife, Fran, who shared her vision to make it a reality.
Located on 110 acres in a bucolic setting, the facility now has 50 cottages for independent living and several wings in two buildings offering various levels of care.
As guests dined on a chicken barbecue with all the fixings and listened to the upbeat music of the Salisbury Band, Executive Director William Pond gave a message. He thanked the myriad people who made the event possible, including anniversary planning committee members Mary Barton, Susan Gallaway, Judy McKernon and Trish Walsh.
Barbara Wiggins is recognized at Tuesday's community picnic to mark the 50th anniversary of Noble Horizons. She was the first nurse hired to open the facility all those years ago. Ruth Epstein Republican-American
“I am humbled to be in the company this evening of many Noble team members, past and present,” Pond said. “They are the heart and soul of Noble Horizons. Their compassion, dedication, expertise and love fill Noble Horizons every single day. Their devotion is the abiding centerpiece of life at Noble.”
Then on a personal note, he spoke of what Noble means to his family, remembering back when his father was a resident.
“We remain forever grateful for the devotion of all you wonderful people who made sure he was safe, comfortable and as happy as he could be. The staff knew how much he loved sweets and ice cream and he’d get his treats each night. When we all were concerned about his falling out of bed, there was another mattress next to his bed in case he rolled out of bed. Every time I visited him, there was someone who was asking him what he would like to do, or to eat or to talk with him,” Pond said. “Noble Horizons is where the sun is always shining. I could sleep at night because I knew he was in capable caring hands. We remain forever grateful.”
Pond acknowledged the tremendous work of the legions of volunteers who “are everywhere you look tonight. They never stop giving.”
Salisbury First Selectman Curtis G. Rand speaks at the community picnic for Noble Horizons' 50th anniversary Tuesday. Ruth Epstein Republican-American
Nearly 200 guests come out to celebrate Noble Horizons 50th anniversary at a community picnic Tuesday. Ruth Epstein Republican-American
He said the auxiliary has raised over $1 million for Noble. He also paid tribute to Eileen Mulligan, who served as Noble’s leader for 43 years “and whose legacy we strive to carry out each day. Her imprint is everywhere and it is our honor to ensure that Noble continues to reflect and embody the heart and soul of this exceptional woman.”
Speaking on behalf of the town, First Selectman Curtis G. Rand said Noble Horizons has been a vital place of companionship, healing and guidance.
“In many ways you are stewards of a great many things; stewards of health, ease of mind, friendships, activities, staff and residents and a sensitive and rare ecology. You give comfort and peace of mind to many people throughout the year and we are grateful for that.” He wanted all those involved at Noble to know the town appreciates their dedication, talents, heart, good works and important mission.
State Rep. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, also has a personal connection to Noble, since her mother, Pat, was also a resident there at one time.
“It’s an incredible place,” she said. She brought a general assembly citation signed by State Sen. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield, and her. Horn also presented Pond with an official congratulatory statement from Gov. Ned Lamont.
Recognized at the event was Barbara Wiggins, the first nurse to be hired when Noble Horizons opened in 1972. She talked about having to equip the unit and how the order for beds was incorrect and pediatric beds were delivered.
“It took a couple of weeks until everyone became family,” she recounted. “But we always remembered that this was now their home and you had to respect that.”
In October, the Salisbury Association will host a multimedia experience featuring the story of Noble Horizons as told by the people who lived it.