Left to right: Mission Friendship Centre program director Julie Anne Ponting

MFC celebrates 40 years

A free community event is being held Oct. 18 at Mission Central school

The Mission Friendship Centre has been helping aboriginal and non-aboriginal people adjust to living in urban settings for 40 years.

Some clients at the First Avenue Centre have been a part the organization since the ribbon was first cut, said MFC executive director Grace Cunningham.

There are 25 friendship centres in B.C. and Mission was one of the first 10 that opened. B.C.’s friendship centre movement began in 1954 when a group of concerned aboriginal people in Vancouver formed the Coqualeetza Fellowship Club, explained Cunningham. The group was incorporated as the Vancouver Indian Friendship Centre Society in 1963 and 10 years later, helped establish a similar organization in Mission.

“The first centre was located at a basement of a house on Seventh Avenue,” said Cunningham. As the society grew, it moved downtown and eventually purchased the building at 33150 First Ave. in 1985. MFC still operates out of that location today.

It’s a central facility where staff can offer counselling, support and referral services to its clients.

“We’re a large community service agency and the only one that provides hot lunches Monday to Friday for free,” Cunningham noted.

Despite being one of the largest social service agencies, many people still don’t know what MFC does, said Cunningham. “We spend a lot of time in the community setting up tables at events to bring awareness to the important work that happens here.”

Programs at MFC are available to all age groups and ethnicities.

 

 

Cunningham is hoping the community will take the time to find out more about MFC by being a part of its 40th anniversary celebration on Friday, Oct. 18 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Mission Central elementary school, 7466 Welton St. There will be a buffets dinner, awards, cultural entertainment, including traditional drumming and dancing, and a video presentation highlighting 40 years of MFC events. Elders will also share stories about the early days.

It’s a free event open to everyone in the community, said Cunningham, noting the first 200 guests will receive a gift bag with items, such as a customized MFC pen and notepad, prayer ties, a blessed rock, cedar rose, and treats. Everything in the gift bag relates to a quadrant of the medicine wheel, which covers mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health.

The group has been fundraising for two years in order offer the celebration to the community for free.

For more information about MFC visit www.mifcs.org.

Just Posted

Sanjay Gulati is leaving the Mission Community Services Society

Executive director taking a new position in Ireland

Fraser Health reminds parents to get their kids fully vaccinated against measles

Health authority will send letters home to parents with catch-up program information

Mission RCMP reminds public to lock car doors

April is Auto Crime Enforcement Month

PHOTOS: Thousands attend Mission Elks Easter Egg Hunt

The quest for candy and chocolate brought out a huge crowd of kids and parents to the family event

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver hit $1.72 a litre

And one analyst expects it to only go higher this week

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Loud jets from Abbotsford are annoying residents of tiny U.S. town

Flights out of Abbotsford airport turn over border town and annoy residents, Sumas mayor says

Olympic auditions return to Lower Mainland

Event an opportunity for unknown athletes to shine and, maybe, change sports

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. pedophile wins appeal after violating court order

Kelly Glen Isbister’s sentence was cut by the BC Court of Appeal

VIDEO: Spiderman-clad Lamborghini makes pit stop in Abbotsford ahead of Avengers premiere

Highstreet Shopping Centre displaying unique car during Friday’s opening of Marvel movie

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Most Read