Victoria Home News Coverage

Below is a collection of news articles that feature Victoria Home.

Ossining Daily Voice

12/11/16 – Ossining Resident Celebrates 107th Birthday

The Ossining resident and Mount Vernon native celebrated her 107th birthday at Victoria Home in Ossining with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Fontana was born in Mount Vernon in 1909, the youngest of 10 children. She grew up in Mount Vernon and later married her late husband Philip in 1933 and has three children. She worked as a secretary to the president of True Story magazine. Later in life, she moved from Mount Vernon to Briarcliff before ending up in Ossining.

Victoria Home said Fontana is very active, getting her hair done every week and is always making sure she looks her best.

“I feel good,” Fontana said. “I have my grandchildren with me.”

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Ossining Daily Voice

5/12/15 – 113-Year-Old Woman Celebrates Birthday In Ossining

The Ossining resident celebrated her 113th birthday at Victoria Home on North Malcom Street in Ossining. Feng was born on May 12, 1902 in Shanghai.

The world’s oldest person is 115-year-old Jeralean Talley of Michigan, according to TIME Magazine.

Feng was surrounded by three of her sons at the birthday party which featured a proclamation from Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and a cake.

Raised in China, Feng lived through World War II and the Chinese Civil War. The mother of nine lost two of her children during the Chinese Civil War and she moved to Queens in the 1950s where she opened a Chinese restaurant with her husband.

“She’s taken such great care of our family, it’s about time we celebrated her birthday,” Dr. George Feng, her son, said.

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Half Moon Press

‘The Empire’ Thrives In Ossining
The sun sets, gloriously, every night, over a tiny corner of the British Empire in Ossining.

Perched on a hill on a suburban street, with panoramic views of the Hudson River, the majestic Victoria Home, supported by the Daughters of the British Empire (D.B.E.), preserves the dignity of an earlier age while caring for the health care needs of 49 residents.

Where else in the Historic River Towns of Westchester may one be served tea in delicate individual Royal Doulton cups and saucers, accompanied by authentic cucumber, rolled watercress, or salmon (paste, of course) sandwiches and completed by the riches Napoleon pastry in years? This, in a graciously appointed dining room with an enormous carved fireplace and welcoming window seats, bathed in the spring sunshine, All watched over by portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, George VI, a forbidding Queen Mary, and Princess Diana and her sons.

At least, that was how the local chapter of the D.B.E. welcomed visiting chapters on one of those magnificent afternoons in May. Women originally from England, Canada, a couple of New Zealand and one or two Australians toured the facility and then settled down to “high tea” with Victoria Home’s administrators. Many were wearing the distinctive insignia of the National Society, Daughters of the British Empire in the United States of America. It incorporates the three crosses of the Union Jack, surmounted by a crown signifying sovereignty.

The D.B.E. was founded in 1909 by Mrs. Elliot Langstaff who was born on April 14, 1849 in St. Catherine’s Canada. She grew up in New Jersey, and after her marriage, settled in Brooklyn. Mrs. Langstaff was inspired by the Canadian Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire to form the American organization.

It is a non-profit, non-political organization and membership is extended, by invitation, to women with proven British or British Commonwealth birth, naturalized British or British Commonwealth subjects, and to the wives of British of British Commonwealth born men.

The main object of the D.B.E. is the support of the district homes for retired men and women with regular contributions and fundraising events. The original intent, to care for retired British nannies and servants has expanded to include all. As many members as possible have personal contact with their district home and its residents and help with activities and entertainment. A bonus for members is the network which is a source of close and long term friendships.

The first home was opened on Staten Island in 1915. By 1925, a larger home was needed and funds were raised to purchase the McAlpin estate in Ossining, and relocate the Victoria Home. The house was remodeled to accommodate 25 residents and officially opened in 1928. Three years later, a new wing, to accommodate
43 more residents was added, with an infirmary.

Constant adaptations to code changes, including the current installation of a new fire detection system, have not significantly changed the layout of the “new” wing, with its individual rooms personally decorated by the residents. Service includes medical and diagnostic treatment, dental, physical therapy, a full service dining room, therapeutic recreation, social service, a beauty salon, and access to a lovely landscaped garden.

There are three other retirement and nursing homes supported by the Daughters of the British Empire. The Midwestern district home is in Brookfield, Illinois; in the Western district the home is in Sierra Made, California and in the Southern District, Mountbatten House is located in Highlands, Texas, Each home has individual characteristics and are all supported by the D.B.E.

Over 5,000 Members throughout the United States support the D.B.E. motto, “Not Ourselves, But The Cause.”

The Gazette

Week of August 22 – 28, 2002 – In Celebration

Red, white and blue bunting and balloons with the Jubilee Logo, imported from England, greeted residents and guests as they arrived on June 1 to attend a tea party at Victoria Home in Ossining celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Over the living room sofa hung a poster, arranged by Helen Ceru, Regent of Hudson River Chapter D.B.E., showing photographs of Queen Elizabeth II from childhood to the present. The decorating committee headed by Jennifer Wilensky, Hudson River Chapter, blew up fifty balloons, put up yards of bunting and decorated the various rooms with vases of red, white and blue flowers.

After a scrumptious tea of sandwiches and sweets provided by the King Edward VII Chapter, D.B.E., glasses were raised and toasts to the President and the Queen were offered. Then residents and guests were entertained by the “Hudson Bells” and led the guests in singing traditional British and American tunes ending with a spirited rendition of “God save the Queen.” A record number of residents attended the event and a good time was had by all.

Victoria Home is a 49-bed non-profit skilled nursing facility, which admits all residents regardless of their national origin, race or creed.

The Daughters of the British Empire (D.B.E.) founded in the United States in 1909 is a charitable non-political, non-sectarian American society of women of British and Commonwealth birth ancestry. Their primary purpose is to provide financial support to the four homes for the elderly established by the D.B.E. in the U.S., one of which is Victoria Home, Ossining.

The Journal News

August 2, 2002 – Ossining Group celebrates connection to British royalty

The festivities for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee may officially be over, but an exhibit created in celebration of the milestone continues in Ossining.

“British Royalty” Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II – The Ossining Connection” is a compact display at the Ossining Public Library bursting with all sorts of memorabilia. The Daughters of the British Empire Hudson River Chapter and the Victoria Home in Ossining, a Daughters-sponsored nursing facility, have lent miniature carriages, official programs, vases, letters and accessories that reflect royalty and royal events through the years.

There are many highlights, but of particular note – and a quirky keepsake – is the delicate teacup-and-saucer set used by the Queen Mother when she visited the Victoria Home in 1954.

The exhibit continues through Aug. 30, during regular library hours. Admission is free. The library is at 53 Croton Ave. Call 914-941-2416.

The Journal News

August 2, 2002 – Library Exhibit

The Ossining Public library is displaying an exhibit mounted by the Victoria Home in Ossining and the Hudson River Chapter of the Daughters of the British Empire. The exhibit, British Royalty Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II,” is on view in the main lobby through Aug. 30. Among the memorabilia related to Queen Victoria are items of clothing, a bust, notepaper, a handbag, coins, miniature coronation thrones and a coronation carriage, a tea cup and celebratory plates.

The Journal News

Sunday, April 28, 2002 – Cochran celebrates 100 years

Ossining, NY – Phyllis Cochran, resident of Victoria Home in Ossining, celebrated her 100th birthday on March 24. She was honored with two parties. The first, on her birthday, was given by the home’s residents and staff. The second, a luncheon party, was given March 27 by the Board of Directors. It was attended by her niece, Hanna Mae Karpennick, and a friend, Ann Karpennick, as well as members of the Daughters of the British Empire Chapters from New York and Pennsylvania. Cochran received 100 long stemmed roses. She also received a congratulatory letter from Gov. Pataki. Cochran was born in Rockland County. Prior to entering Victoria Home in 1991, she was a home-maker who made all her own clothes and enjoyed crocheting.