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When Dan Chaisson left Nova Scotia for Ontario, he probably didn’t know he would create a sensation when he arrived in Kingston.

Shortly after touching down in the Limestone City, Dan cooked late into the night as his sister, Annette Warren, watched with a smile.

The next day, the duo served an authentic East Coast dinner to the delight of guests of Helen Henderson Care Centre, a retirement lodge and long-term care home in Amherstview, a charming community in the greater Kingston area.

Sitting in the dining room a few minutes before dinner was to be served, Activity Director Donna Joudoin couldn’t hide her pleasure.

“I’m so proud of this event,” she noted happily.

“The residents look forward to this event every year. Some of our residents are from the East Coast and they have been talking about this meal, non-stop. It’s like we’re bringing their childhood home here.”

Held for the past three years, the Helen Henderson Care Centre Lobster Dinner has become a tradition, growing in popularity and size. Many attribute its success to Dan’s homemade dishes and lobsters shipped fresh from Peggy’s Cove.

“What I think is essential to everyone is the food is made from scratch,” explained Donna. “Dan prepares the seafood chowder and garlic cheese biscuits while Annette makes the lemon tower cake and salad. The mussels are cooked in garlic butter and wine. It’s absolutely delicious.”

The end result is an authentic Maritime meal complete with music and bibs adorned with lobsters.


“Some guests even bring their own cutlery to open the lobster and mussels,” noted Activity Aide Renee Alaver.

“It’s our most popular event of the year. It’s sought after by residents, families and staff,” added Donna who credits her Activity Aide with its inception.

“Annette brought this to the residents,” confirmed Donna proudly.

Annette smiles and corrects her quickly. “Actually, it was a new resident from the East Coast who mentioned she missed lobster. We started this dinner after that and the rest is history.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for Dan Chaisson’s willingness to travel a long distance to bring the Maritimes to Helen Henderson Care Centre. It remind us of a saying, “To reach port, we must set sail. Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.”

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