MORE than a century later, Clifton House Residential Home continues to honour the wishes of Belfast Historian George Benn, a renowned philanthropist, who bequeathed to the Belfast Charitable Society a sum of £1000 to always provide a special dinner for the residents of the Poor House at Christmas.
On Wednesday 13th December, Clifton House Residential Home observed this fine tradition for the 135th year. Residents enjoyed the annual event, which included gifts from Santa, entertainment by Trinity College Choir, a visit from the Lord Mayor of Belfast and a fabulous Christmas dinner, just as George Benn had wished.
Una McAuley, Chair of the Clifton Care Home Committee, comments “We’re only too happy to continue to observe this wonderful tradition every December. The Benn Dinner event is all about our residents. We gather everyone together to enjoy some Christmas cheer, entertainment, a small Christmas gift from Santa and a delicious Christmas dinner; that’s what Christmas is all about after all.”
George (1801-82), was a gifted historian and wrote A History of the Town of Belfast. He died in 1882 leaving the Belfast Charitable Society monies to provide a Christmas dinner for the residents of the House, stating; ‘this sum shall forever to be applied to providing for the poor inmates of the said Poor House with a dinner or other entertainment at every Christmas.’
Clifton House Residential Home was extensively refurbished in 2003 and is housed within the Georgian elegance of Clifton House in the heart of the City. Providing residential care for those in old age and with dementia, the care home can accommodate up to 27 residents and provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Una continues, “The Benn Dinner is very special to the residents of Clifton House Residential Home, every year it is how we celebrate Christmas with our residents as well as being mindful of the many years that has gone before. The Benn Dinner brings much happiness to our Home and it will undoubtedly be observed by Clifton House Residential Home for many years to come.”