The secret it out. (Janet Rigg/Facebook)

The secret it out. (Janet Rigg/Facebook)

Tlellagraph: Mysterious luxury home for Tlell seniors suddenly revealed

By Janet Rigg

A great Tlell secret has been revealed by the internet’s clickbait crawlers. It’s a terrible thing, as this secret has been kept by generations. Unfortunately, an uninformed Tlellian posted it on Facebook, wondering why they had never seen it before, and now the questions and speculation have begun. If everyone knew this place existed in Tlell we would be overrun by seniors from all corners of the Earth — nothing but bingo halls and early-bird diners all through town.

Now before you angrily cry “age-ist!” I will concur that a town or village is nothing without the wisdom of elders. Though many may feel that they are still 25 inside, they possess experience that sees not only the amazing transformations of society and technology, but also the cyclical nature of change. Growth and destruction dance together, the elders know, as they have danced with it for many years. If children are our future, seniors hold the road map, and it’s up to us in between to connect the two.

Tlell is a wonderful place where community gatherings often span generations. We love being with our community elders and making sure they are comfortable and well taken care of. This has always been the way in Tlell, but in 1973 local Tlellians took it to a whole other level. Through careful consultation with the Tlell Secret Society, a senior’s residence was built. It was designed by Henry Bernard, a 20th century French architect, and modelled after the interior of the Chateau de Versailles. Building materials were locally handcrafted, or shipped from Asia and Europe when needed. It took 15 years to complete, as trustworthy building inspectors and tradesmen were hard to find.

Though one may naturally assume that Gwaii Trust funded this project, in fact it was financed by a hidden gold seam found in Clay Hill. This secret revenue source continues to provide maintenance and operational funding, though the occasional bake sale still occurs. Seniors pay no residency fees, but they are required to be members in good standing in the Tlell Secret Society and usually donate a family heirloom or two for our yearly Sotheby’s auction.

Now, the Tlellian who posted this image on Facebook can be forgiven for his ignorance. He hasn’t paid his Tlell Secret Society dues in over a decade, and likely wasn’t concerned with retirement when he first arrived here. It’s believed he simply forgot the secret knock, and so hasn’t been able to get to the Secret Society clerk to set his account straight. We’re sure this will be rectified shortly.

We are grateful that the entrance to our seniors complex has not be revealed, so we will not be subjected to curious interlopers. This breach will be on the next Secret Society agenda, and it may well require performing the ancient Rite of Forgetfulness that Tlellians are so good at. When we do, none of you will ever remember ever seeing this or hearing about it. It will require careful preparation, so if anyone has a cedar branch shaped like a crow, and six deep-red agates, let me know. If we do the rite wrong, we will all forget this place exists, and that won’t do well at all for the seniors who already live there.

If you are hoping to move to Tlell to join the Secret Society and become an eventual resident in our seniors complex, email me at sewnart@haidagwaii.net. Unfortunately, there is a waiting list, and all rooms are booked until 2083. Sorry folks.

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