Submitted by Dorothy Dussault, president of the Lake Country Seniors’ Centre.
Lake Country Seniors Centre 9832 Bottom Wood Lake Road as it is known today.
When individuals are reaching old age, much of the physical decline is caused by inactivity and subsequent boredom to which the elderly have traditionally been consigned. By remaining active rather than slowing down and taking it easy- we could prolong our physical and mental health substantially. Also, Seniors are put in the background as far as facilities for Seniors are concerned.
There were a few senior ladies that had the insight into constructing a Centre where they could meet on a regular basis. With the land being donated and tax free they went to work on building a place they could do the things they enjoyed. They held regular craft sales where they sold the work they created using the Winfield Memorial Hall. They knew what they wanted and on March 19, 1975 they formed their Senior Drop in
Centre. The club started with no funds, so they held raffles to buy material which they sold at a craft show.
On June 19 the members met with a New Horizons funding representative for a grant to purchase material, machines and tables. They received $2,710. Bake sales were held, crafts were sold, bingo raised money and they started selling cement blocks for the future Senior Centre. By November 26, 1976 they had over $5,000 in their account. By March 19, 1979 they had $12,000 in their account which was not bad for a few busy ladies and at this point they became a Society.
After three referendums, the go-ahead for the Senior Activity Centre was received from the taxpayers. On March 14, 1980 it was the sod-turning ceremony. Much of the building was done by Seniors that donated their time and knowledge into completing the Centre. The ladies were responsible for the basement. Once again New Horizons were asked for assistance to complete the Centre with equipment and furnishing. The Winfield Senior Activity Centre Society was formed to over see the maintenance and operation of the Centre and they still meet on the third Wednesday of the month with their Annual General Meeting being the first Wednesday of the June. The membership is now $5.50 per year, which is a small price to pay for all the benefits that go along with belonging. This membership money is turned over to the District and they disperse it as necessary. The District now owns the building so they look after the maintenance. The only funds the Society has is from user fees of the building which is 50 cents per visit and hall rentals. When we went from municipal to District the name of the Centre became Lake Country Seniors Activity Centre Society.
The Society is responsible for all the repair work on all the equipment in the building which is the property of the Society. It is very costly to maintain this equipment especially if it needs to be replaced. The New Horizons program has assisted the Centre a great deal in many ways in the work that needed to be done over the years.
The Senior Centre acts as an umbrella for all the activities, and the Directors are responsible for the schedule of events and see to the rental of the hall for weddings, memorials, meeting, dances, bingos etc.
Winfield O.A.P.O. Branch 17 was formed at the Centre and still exists however they do not use the centre. They had a major change recently and there guide lines are different now.
The library was started in 1980 with a donation of books and still exists today you can borrow books as long as you bring them back and you can even add some more.
The bridge club was organized on November 1, 1988. They meet every Tuesday at 7:00. The emphasis is on fun not competition.
Crib started soon after the Centre opened and they still meet at 7:00 on Fridays with a tournament every third Sunday of the month.
Our Monday morning painting class opened in the fall of 1986. It started with 10 members and has grown since. It is not only for the rewards and fulfilment but the companionship. There is an instructor to assist with painting trees, skies, lakes and rivers to take shape and soon you’re painting building, animals, still life, portraits, etc.
We also have a painting class on Fridays and this is more one on one instruction.
On Tuesdays and Thursday the Wood Shop meets and everyone is welcome as long as they know a bit about the tools. We don’t let those that don’t know on their own as it is to dangerous.
The Sewing Group started in September 1979 and by the end of the year they had 23 members. Still today they meet every Thursday at 1:00. They have a seasonal Fashion Show just before closing for the season. There is an instructor there to assist if you aren’t sure what it is you have to do to complete your project.
The Lake Country Senior Centre hosts a complete lunch every Tuesday for $8.00 and there are take out meals and freezer meals available when on hand. If some of the meals do not go after a short time the meals are then turned over to the Food Bank for their use in their programs.
There is still a games room for the use of the members however, it is a good idea before heading down there you call the centre at 250-766-4220.
Line dancing is done every Tuesday and Thursday and is a great way to get a bit of exercise of course. It is a great way to meet other Seniors and stay fit.
J.O.Y. is an exercise group that meets every Wednesday morning so join in the fun and meet others with the same objectives as you.
Many people enjoy doing Tia Chi and we do have a large group doing program every Wednesday and Friday afternoon. This is a great program getting you back in touch with your mind body and soul.
Prime Time is a group that started with the idea of giving care givers a break. This program is strictly for enjoyment they have live entertainment and a snack every Monday afternoon and is open to everyone.
The Garden Club was started in 1980 with a membership of 10 and has grown to 40+ today. They meet the 3rd Thursday of the month from March to October. The club started the Memorial Rose Garden where roses were planted and plaques were posted for loved ones that have passed away. The District is now very instrumental in the care of this garden. It is hoped that once the garden is ready more roses and plaques can be added.
Besides all these functions the hall is available for rental such as for Weddings, Memorials, Dances, Dinner etc. This to can happen simply by calling the Centre.
There have been many groups that have gone through the centre from time to time and just not carried through. We are in need of more groups for seniors to attend. Many of the Seniors attend the groups held by the District thinking it is the same as the Seniors centre and that it benefits the centre when in fact it does not. It would be wise to check this out when applying. Call anyone of the Directors to get information in this regard.
There is no reason to sit and do nothing and be bored. If you and five others wish to do a function we have a bus available for our use. To get you to the centre and home again is $4.00. You would surely pay more with a Taxi. It is more practical to use the bus, even to do your grocery shopping, banking, drug stores etc.
If you look at what was done when the building was constructed in the 1970’s and what it looks like today there is not much change. The patio at the side and the cover over the walkway to the parking lot is the difference. There is a large percentage (35%) of seniors in the area (55+). The percentaage is even higher because our membership starts at 50.. You would think we would get help in trying to keep the building up-to-date with incentives for Seniors. Ideally it would be great to have the extension done, that keeps being talked about and nothing happens. Next to nothing is what we get. In the past year it has been asked that we be given an electric door for the handicapped to enter the building but that has not happened either. After this complaining we have to say the work being done on the Rose Garden is appreciated and will begrateful by many.Getting parking around the centre when a function is held is impossible. The arena people continue to park in the designated Senior sites and when asked to move they become testy and ignore our request. There is parking on the other side of the building that could be used for the arena and they don’t use it. The Seniors can’t park over there because they can’t walk that far and sometimes there is snow. This parking situation will only get worse when the Food Bank is re- located beside the Senior Centre.
There is no other building in Lake Country where seniors can gather. There is no place for Seniors to get information about senior issues (health, food, transportation etc.). There has not been anyone at the centre on a regular basis but in September we hope to have someone on site every day Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 1:00. This would then keep the Centre open for more traffic and give seniors a place to go.
In todays world everyone is extremely busy and there is not much extra time available in their daily lives. It has been very difficult to get volunteers on a regular basis and many of our older seniors can no longer do what is neccessary around the Centre. We are always in need of more volunteers for different activities so if you could spare a bit of your time it would be appreciated. Give a call to the centre and let us know what times you could be available. There are a few changes that are going to be implemented in the near future. Seniors, this is your Centre so please support it.
If you have any questions be sure to give a call to the Centre, for more information. Our phone number is 250-766-4220 and we are located at 9832 Bottom Wood Lake Road. Stop by for a coffee and see what is happening and to have input as to what you would like to see happen. This is a lovely facility. Check it out.