Spy Minute: Londonderry Toasts 25th Year Anniversary

It’s always a great moment when a respected community turns 25 years old. That quarter-century mark is one of the best indicators that the organization being celebrated has reached a point of maturity which promises a long healthy life to come, and there is no better example of this than Londonderry on the Tred Avon birthday bash this week.

While Londonderry has always had a sense of rock-solid stability, mainly since has been anchored by a 19th century Gothic Revival manor house, with now over 97 cottages and 26 apartments along the Tred Avon River, it is also true that for the first ten years of its existence, the then revolutionary new retirement community struggled against many odds to keep from closing, including revised partnership agreements, legal entanglements, and more recently, the unchartered waters that came with the Great Recession of 2008.

All of that is now ancient history as Londonderry is currently experiencing a waiting list for future residents, expanding its cottages and adding a large clubhouse this year.

As David Hazen said at the end of his comprehensive history of Londonderry noted, “Londonderry On The Tred Avon, nee The Retirement Community of Easton, Inc., can face the future knowing that it has been a great home for its residents of the past, while looking forward to being an even greater one for those of the future.”

The Spy was there a few nights ago to capture the scene as residents and friends gathered to toast Londonderry and its future.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Londonderry on the Tred Avon please go here

 

Londonderry Employees to Become Habitat Homebuyers

Two employees of Londonderry on the Tred Avon are on the path to realizing their dream of owning a home thanks to Habitat for Humanity Choptank and the assistance of one of Londonderry’s residents.

Shavonte Green and Duval Mills both learned about Habitat for Humanity when representatives from the organization visited Londonderry to talk employees and fill them in on the process of becoming a homeowner.

“It felt like a good option for me,” Mills, head waiter at Londonderry, said. “I’m very excited.”

Green and Mills were both able to learn a little more about Habitat from Londonderry resident Lari Caldwell, who’s volunteered with the program for about a decade. A former social worker, she serves on Habitat for Humanity Choptank Homebuyer Selection Committee, helping to look into applicants’ backgrounds and choose good candidates for the program.

Shavonte Green and Duval Mills are each pictured with Londonderry resident Lari Caldwell and a representative of Habitat for Humanity Choptank.

Though she recused herself from the committee in this case, she’s done what she can to encourage them both along.

“I did promote them as responsible young people who would do well as candidates for Habitat,” Caldwell said. “They’re both very pleasant and personable, and I think this will be wonderful for both of them.”

According to Habitat for Humanity Choptank, applicants must be free of outstanding collectible debt before closing, save for closing costs,pay an affordable mortgage for the cost of the home, and assume responsibility for maintaining the home, and for paying home owners insurance and property taxes. The biggest piece of the process is the completion of 300-400 “sweat equity” hours — essentially volunteer service to the program.

“Our philosophy is about building neighborhoods and helping people to live their best life in their communities,” Caldwell said. “We really want to assure that the people that come into our program really want to be there.”

Green and Mills are still early in the process, but are very much looking forward to going through it. In fact, Caldwell says Mills has already done many of many of his sweat equity hours despite just being approved by Habitat.

“He’s really, very motivated,” Caldwell said. “I’m very proud of both of them for doing what they have to take this step in life.”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Senior Nation: Finding the Unexpected at Londonderry

When Beatrice Conrad met Richard Robertson, finding a husband was the last thing she expected.

Bea and Dick Robertson are pictured in 2014 on a cruise to the Bahamas

An Easton native and resident of Londonderry on the Tred Avon since 2006, Bea spent her life as a nurse, serving with the United States Air Force for 12 years and in the Veterans Administration Hospital for 22. Dick, a pilot by trade and native of New Jersey, came to Londonderry six or seven years after her.

For a time, Bea and Dick never crossed paths — she attended dinners in Londonderry’s Tred Avon Tavern, while he favored lunch. But one evening, when a mutual friend brought Dick to dinner with him and the three shared a table, things changed.
“He started coming every night (after that),” Bea said. Shortly after they met, Dick asked Bea on a lunch date to Ocean City.

“I about fell out of the chair,” Bea said. “It took me by surprise, it really did.”

Not long after the first date, Bea and Dick were officially a couple — spending every day together enjoying each other’s company and doing quite a bit of traveling during their five years together. The couple visited Syracuse, New York; Williamsburg, Va.; and Hershey, Pa. — “and then the cruises started,” Bea said. They also bought a condo in Sarasota, Fla., splitting their months between Florida and Londonderry for about two years.

The next big step for Bea and Dick came on March 7 of this year, when Bea finally agree to marry Dick.

“He asked me over and over early on, but I’d been single all my life and I just couldn’t see any reason for it” Bea said. “Finally, when we got back this past February from Florida, he said ‘It’s time to get married,’ and I said, ‘Oh, what the hell; why not?’”

Ultimately, their marriage was to be short lived — Dick passed away on May 12 of this year. But Bea has no regrets.

 

“Even now that it’s more or less all over, I still feel that when he came to the table that first time … I was plucked up and taken out of my routine life,” Bea said. “I was in a different world — a very enjoyable world, I might say. “It was a very unexpected love story on my part. You just never expect that”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry Donates to Local Police Programs

Londonderry on the Tred Avon recently gave back to its community by making a donation to Talbot County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 18. The organization proudly represents officers of the Easton Police Department, Oxford Police Department, St. Michaels Police Department, and Talbot County Sheriff’s Office.

Irma Toce CEO at Londonderry on the Tred Avon staff pose with Sgt. George Paugh of the Easton Police Department.

This donation will go to support law enforcement officers’ efforts to educate the Talbot County community on drug and violence awareness, this donation will also help fund their many community outreach programs. It will also help the families of fallen officers.

“Residents of Londonderry on the Tred Avon believe in giving back to the community,” said Irma Toce, CEO of Londonderry.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1,500 feet of waterfront shoreline.

For more information on what’s going on at Londonderry please go here

Senior Nation: The Artists of Londonderry

It makes sense to visit the Academy Art Museum and smaller art galleries in Easton and St. Michaels when one wants a sense of the local art scene on the Mid-Shore, but sometimes of the best examples of native talent can be found in the most unlikely places.

One of those is at Londonderry on the Tred Avon, just off of Port Street in Easton. This very special retirement community counts among its residents highly accomplished retired professionals in almost every field, from college professors to well known corporate leaders, but it has also attached some exceptional visual artists who continue to produce stunning landscapes, portraits, and few abstract paintings to the pleasure of the entire community.

Last week, the Spy took some time to capture a small sample of the kind of art now on display in the public spaces at Londonderry.

For more information about what’s going on at Londonderry please go here

Senior Nation: Londonderry Once Again Named Best Senior Living Facility

For the second year in a row, Londonderry on the Tred Avon has been named Best Senior Living Facility by What’s Up Magazine in its annual “Best of Eastern Shore” competition.

Located in Easton, Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline.

For Peggy and Jim Sloan, residents for the past year, there were a number of things that drew them to Londonderry. The couple lived in Florida for more than a decade before deciding to move back to the Eastern Shore to be closer to some of their adult children, and immediately
knew Londonderry was the place for them.

“Everybody was just so friendly,” Peggy Sloan said. “It felt like home.”

Since moving in, the Sloans have come to love Londonderry’s roster of activities, the quality of its residents and staff, and the amenities offered in its cottage. The retirement community also offers both housekeeping and dining, which are important features for the Sloans.

“As we get older we can’t always do those things as well for ourselves, so those were some really nice aspects,” Peggy Sloan said.

According to Chela Hernandez, an accounting assistant who’s worked at Londonderry since 2015, “Best Of” is a title that really applies. She attributes it to how friendly and close knit both the staff and residents are.

“I heard great things about Londonderry before coming here, and as soon as I walked in for my first interview, I immediately felt at ease and very welcomed,” Hernandez said. “I never dread coming to work, because a day of work here is not a boring day by far.”

For more information about Londonderry, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry Residents Learn About Soils, Archaeology

Londonderry on the Tred Avon residents were recently treated to a lecture on soil science and archaeology by Dr. J.E. Foss, professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee.

Presented at the end of May, the program was titled “Soils and Archaeology: From Pompeii to Guatemala,” and gave residents a look at a number of archaeological sites Foss has had the opportunity to work at as a soil scientist. Over the past 30 years, he’s worked to help do things like date sites and examine contamination in places like Puerto Rico, Central America, Italy, Jordan, Albania, Tunisia and Greece.

Londonderry resident Dr. J.E. Foss is pictured atop a Mayan temple in Guatemala with fellow researchers.

“Soils are different all over the world,” Foss, a Londonderry resident of about six months, said. “I bounced around quite a bit.”

Foss’ work has taken him to sites both commonly heard of, like Pompeii, and those less name recognizable, like Mitrou and Petra. Though some of the residents at Foss’ lecture had actually visited Pompeii themselves — he calls them a “well traveled group” — they still showed a lot of interest in the historical aspects of his presentation.

“They were especially interested in the Mayan sites in Guatemala, El Mirador,” Foss said. “Everyone has a natural interest in archaeology — where do we come from, what’s the history, that sort of thing.”

Foss hopes to organize a trip in the future for residents to visit an active archaeological dig. He says he’d also like to present other lectures specific to some of the interesting sites he’s worked.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry Breaks Ground on New Clubhouse

More than 200 people showed up to  Londonderry on the Tred Avon in Easton on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, to celebrate the groundbreaking of the community’s new clubhouse.

Complete with food, drinks and a band ¾ all with a Jimmy Buffet theme ¾ the event was a party for both current and future residents. Priority List members, or those looking to move to Londonderry, were included in the celebration so they could get a glimpse of what they have to look forward to.

“I had not been to any social affairs there yet, but it was very nice,” said Ruth Dominick, a Londonderry Priority List member who attended the celebration with her husband, Walter. “They keep us in the loop with reports and their newsletter, so it’ll be easy to move over.”

As for the new clubhouse, it’s been designed by Easton architecture firm Atelier 11. It boasts a number of new amenities for residents, including rooms for meetings and lectures, a yoga studio, a workout room with fitness equipment, a spa area for residents to have their hair and nails done, an art studio, a shaded garden and larger outside deck, and a kitchen and living room area for residents who may want to entertain larger parties.

Lauren Dianich, principle architect from Atelier 11, said the goal was to make the space very flexible so it could meet a variety of needs for Londonderry’s very active residents.

“We thought what would serve them well was a more informal setting,” Dianich said. “The whole senior time of life is very cool when you live at a senior community ¾ there’s people around your age, with your interests. It’s great.”

The clubhouse, which will move forward with Willow Construction, LLC, also of Easton, will be built as a one story, but has been designed to hold a second floor in the future should the need arise. The design also features a tower as its focal point, tying the new structure into the existing landscape by mirroring a windmill near the water at Londonderry.

The hope is for the clubhouse to serve as the heart and center of the community, and the new tower will make it even easier for residents to find. Dianich said she thinks it even brings character to the building.

“This is going to be a really neat jump forward,” Dianich said. “I think it’s representative of how vital Londonderry has become to this area.”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Connolly Joins Londonderry Board

Charles C. Connolly III recently joined the Board of Directors at Londonderry on the Tred Avon.

Connolly has been the Director of Finance for Talbot County Public Schools since July 1990.

A graduate of Wilmington College with Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees, he is a certified public accountant. He began his career farming with his parents before moving on to C.W. Amos & Company, a certified public accounting firm, working his way up to become a manager in the regional office.

Connolly serves as a liaison and trustee for Maryland Association of Boards of Education Group Insurance Pool, Maryland Association of Boards of Education Workers Compensation Fund, Maryland Association of Boards of Education Legal Services Association, Eastern Shore of Maryland Education Energy Trust and Maryland Association of Counties OPEB Trust. He is a member and serves on boards of various non-profit organizations throughout Talbot County.

A Talbot County native, he and his wife Mollie, a teacher for Talbot County Public School for 37 years, are planning for their daughter Keegan’s upcoming wedding in July. Connolly enjoys riding motorcycles, woodworking, making children’s toys and assisting with his wife and daughter’s scarf manufacturing and sales business.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.

Londonderry Residents Model Latest Fashions

Residents and staff members from Londonderry on the Tred Avon walked the catwalk on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, showing off their biggest smiles and best poses in a fashion show organized by the Londonderry on The Tred Avon community’s Residents Activities Committee.

Around 15 residents and four staff members volunteered to model for all the community residents, who were able to watch the show, shop from a pop up boutique, and win chances at a number of centerpieces and donated door prizes.

Photo – from left, Londonderry on the Tred Avon residents Pat Lewers, Vita Strong, Camille Kneale and Betty Hurford show off their best model poses during a fashion show on Tuesday, March 7, organized by the retirement community’s Residents Activities Committee.

“It was a lot of fun for everyone involved,” said Susan Andrews, a Londonderry resident and member of the Residents Activities Committee involved in planning the event. “The outfits were bright, beautiful and fun … and people had a very enjoyable, lighthearted time.”

The fashion show was a true community event, with Lu LaRue clothing provided by Renee Bounds Barringer, jewelry from Piazzzz in St. Michaels, and hair and makeup done by Trish Smith. It was the first fashion show planned by the Residents Activities Committee, which keeps Londonderry’s residents busy with a variety of events and happenings.

“Physical, intellectual, artistic activities – we try cover all the possible activities that somebody might like to participate in,” said longtime Londonderry resident and member of the activities committee Lari Caldwell. “We like to see our residents enjoying everything that we have available here. It’s a lovely place to live.”

Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and up, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.