Janet Lum

Horseshoe club hosts block party revival

Toss a few horseshoes and get to know your neighbours Saturday at the Victoria Horseshoe Club

Toss a few horseshoes and get to know your neighbours.

The Victoria Horseshoe club is playing host to a community meet-and-greet, where people from all corners of Saanich can chat with other residents, while having lunch on the horseshoe pitch.

“When I was a child we used to have block parties and everybody knew each other,” said Janet Lum, the event organizer and Royal Oak resident. “That doesn’t happen any more and not many people know their communities.”

Lum, a client relations employee for HP Advanced Solutions and member of the Victoria Horseshoe Club, created the event to revive the notion of a community block party, but also as an assignment set out by her Landmark Education leadership program.

She was challenged to impact anywhere from 20 to 200 people in the community.

“What I hope to accomplish is to promote a well-connected, safe and prosperous community,” Lum said. “I’m very proud to live in this community and want to give back.”

The event format will have vendor booths from Saanich businesses, and attendance by the Victoria Royal’s Marty the Marmot, Bob Alexander the Town Crier, Saanich Fire Rescue and organizations such as Block Watch.

“Saanich always likes these groups, be it lawn bowling, canoe and kayaking, or horseshoes. These groups are a terrific part of the social fabric of the community,” said Saanich Coun. Paul Gerrard, who plans to attend the meet-and-greet. “Anything that gets people outside into the community is a great thing.”

About 100 volunteers from the all-volunteer horseshoe club are making the event a reality, said club president Cheryl Cliche, from cooking, to event setup to showing people how to play horseshoes.

“(This club) is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets,” Cliche said. “This event is a great opportunity for the community and the club. We can showcase what we have.”

Lum will use the event to launch Victoria’s TheSharehood.org website, which promotes connecting and sharing between neighbours.

Through the website, people can offer up their expertise, skills or equipment – such as carpentry, or tools for home or auto repair.

TheSharehood.org site is based in Australia and has a growing following around the world. Lum plans to launch a Victoria “hood” within the site.

“The idea is to promote local interactions. If you need a ladder, you can go onto the site and find somebody nearby to borrow from,” Lum said.

The Saanich community meet-and-greet is Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Victoria Horseshoe Pitching Association, 620 Kenneth St. See gvhpa.org.

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