Introducing Ardith Pye, Tenant at Northwood Manor

Ardith Pye has been actively involved at Northwood for many years. Her mother lived in care at Northwood until she passed away and Ardith was a member of the Northwood Family Council. When she learned about the retirement living apartments available at Northwood, she decided to apply and in no time, was moving in. “I couldn’t have made a better decision,” Ardith says. “It’s the best place going.”

“When people ask me to describe myself, I tell them about my four favourite things, in alphabetical order: Africville, church, the Deaf community and Tim Hortons,” Ardith explains. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting long scarves for the homeless shelters in Halifax. “Many people heard about this project and brought me wool,” Ardith tells us, “I have so much now but I intend to keep knitting and donating scarves until I run out!”

Growing up, Ardith’s father was the Africville Church assistant Sunday school superintendant. Due to her father’s involvement at the church, she attended Sunday school in Africville. When she turned 12, she began teaching Sunday school to three-year-old students. Today, Ardith enjoys visits from those same students and their grandchildren. She stays in contact with many people in the community as she is an honourary member of the Africville Genealogy Society. This year marked the 32nd anniversary of the annual Africville reunion; an event Ardith has attended every year. “As long as my health will allow it, I’ll be there,” she explains.

The Deaf community holds a special place in Ardith’s heart. Years ago, she and five friends decided to take a sign language course. Through the course she came in contact with Robert Steed, a Deaf gentleman who grew up in Africville. She didn’t make the connection right away but in no time they began sharing stories of their fond memories of Africville.

Ardith and Robert attended Cornwallis Street Baptist Church where she would sign the service for him. They grew to be great friends and soon Robert began visiting with other Deaf residents at Northwood. Although Robert has passed away, Ardith continues to make an effort to support the Deaf. “I’m so thrilled with the Deaf community here at Northwood,” Ardith says. “It will always be a big part of my life and what I do.”

Ardith has two brothers, Rev. Lionel Pye who lives in Ontario and David W. Pye who now lives in Florida. She explains that she also has two supportive first cousins here in Halifax and she lives an active social life at Northwood. She loves to socialize throughout the facility and at Tim Horton’s on her daily outing. Ardith is recognized everywhere she goes by many of her friends from Africville and Cornwallis Street Baptist Church.