The West Shore Seniors’ Centre’s multi-generational Family Day gave members and their guests a chance to play and laugh together while recognizing the value of community. The centre now closes for three weeks for maintenance before reopening July 20.

Celebrating togetherness at Seniors’ Family Day

Centre will close for a few weeks for maintenance at month’s end

Members of the West Shore Seniors’ Centre treated their families to a day of entertainment, food and togetherness this past Saturday, when the centre hosted its second of what it hopes will be an annual event.

“It’s our way of thanking the members and their families for their support during the year and an opportunity for our members to show off the grandkids of whom they are so proud,” says Family Day organizer and the centre’s volunteer coordinator Ruth Reynolds.

The air of the centre and surrounding property was full of laughter, coming from the hearts of some as young as a few months old to those more than 90 years young.

“We tried to stick to the traditional old-fashioned activities,” from skipping rope and marbles to paper airplanes and other crafts, puzzles and board games, to scavenger hunts on the surrounding trails during the day, followed by a picnic-style dinner followed by a dance in the evening, Reynolds says.

From 11 a.m. onward, the whole area was filled with seniors and children enjoying one activity to the next.

“We are still looking for someone who not only knows how to play marbles, but to be able to teach it and then get back up afterwards,” she says, laughing.

Betty Smith, president of the Seniors’ Centre’s executive, says they’re very much looking forward to continuing the event next year and into the future.

“This is the second one we’ve done, and Ruth is hoping to make it an annual event, and there’s no reason why that can’t happen,” Smith says. “I had one lady tell me her grandson was disappointed when they had to leave. It was so much fun.”

The gymnasium at the centre can hold between 130 and 140 people for a sit-down meal at tables, and there were 88 people in there having picnics at one point, so it was “pretty full,” she says with a chuckle.

“I understand the dancing went on past 11,” she says, but that was too late for her to stick around for the end of it.

Although some of the programs and activities are just for members, Smith says, the centre, located just beside the Juan de Fuca Recreation complex in Colwood, does have public events and activities as well.

“Once a month we have an evening dance, which is open to the public,” for example. The dance is held on the first Friday of each month – except for August, when it will instead be held on Aug. 14 because of the long-weekend to start the month. The cost is $5 for non-members.

Smith would also like to invite the public to their “Show and Tell” event held each September when the leaders of each class and program showcase what they do. This year it’s being held on Thursday Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.

The centre also hosts bingo every Friday at 12:30 p.m., which is also open to the public.

The centre is about to shut its doors for three weeks for maintenance and renovations on one area, but will reopen July 20.

This is the time of year where most of the centre’s members want to be outside in their communities, anyway, Smith says, and many of the programs actually take hiatus this time of year, so it’s the ideal time to work on the facility itself.

At more than 1,200 members, the organization is bustling, Smith says, but they’re always open to welcoming more.

“Fortunately, they pick and choose what they want to do, and we don’t get them all here at the same time,” Smith jokes.

For those wondering if they should become a member, “we definitely invite people to join us for two or three things that are happening here, and they don’t have to be a member at that time,” Smith says.

Call the office at 250-474-8618 or contact Smith at jdfpresident@shaw.ca for more information about what’s happening at the centre, or stop by and pick up a copy of Expressions, the quarterly newsletter filled with news from the executive, updates on programming, event announcements and more.

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