Published 09 June 2022

THE eldest resident of Queens Quay House care home in Clydebank joined councillors to celebrate the official opening of the flagship £14 million facility.

Catherine Gilfillan, aged 103, jointly cut the ceremonial red ribbon with Councillor Michelle McGinty, chair of the West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership, this week.

While the 84-bed state of the art care facility first welcomed residents in December 2020, Covid-19 restrictions have prevented official opening proceedings from taking place – until now.

At the event on Wednesday, Councillor McGinty paid tribute to the remarkable team effort and professionalism displayed by staff to safely move residents into Queens Quay House at the height of the pandemic.

Councillor McGinty said: “It’s hard to imagine a more challenging set of circumstances to move 54 elderly residents from two different care homes into this new facility.

“But thanks to the utmost standards of professionalism, forward planning and efficiency by care home staff and partner groups within West Dunbartonshire HSCP, the transition was smooth and safe.

“Now, a year-and-a-half later, we can finally celebrate this flagship example of modern care with unrivalled on-site facilities such as a hair salon or luxury cinema.

“It’s all designed to create a local village atmosphere that stimulates social interaction and forges friendships – supported by staff dedicated to enriching the lives of residents by helping them continue their hobbies… and finding a few new ones too.

“I was proud to officially open Queens Quay House, and to do so with the help of Catherine was a lovely moment that made the privilege all the more special.”

Born in Dalmuir, Catherine has lived all her life in the Clydebank area and worked in the Singer sewing machine factory during the Second World War.

She also survived the blitz, one of the worst civilian disasters of the war – and clearly remembers being out dancing while German bombs dropped on the town.

Catherine said: “I was out at the Masonic Hall in Dalmuir that night and at first we just got on with it and kept dancing until men came in and started shouting ‘get out of here.’

“I remember running home from the hall and then going into a shelter in the back court of our tenement and shouting into the darkness for my mum, ‘are you in here?’

“Thankfully she was and we all sat in there for the whole night.

“Our home wasn’t hit but so many places were destroyed and it’s incredible to see how much Clydebank has changed over the years, especially down here at Queens Quay.

 “Now this is home for me, and it’s lovely. I’m well taken care of and everyone is so kind. It’s been a very pleasant day.”