It was in late October of 2019 when dignitaries came together to attend the official ground- breaking ceremony for a new seniors centre in Mission.
Now, almost two years later, the centre is open.
The Boswyk Seniors Activity Centre, located adjacent to the Mission Leisure Centre at 7682 Grand Street, is double the size of the old seniors centre. The extra space will eventually allow for more varied programs and activities.
While the official grand opening doesn’t take place until Oct. 1, the centre has been open for the past two weeks for seniors to get used to the facility.
“They love it. People are just so anxious to come in and they just love coming and taking part in the programs,” said Jeanne Price, President of the Mission Seniors Centre Association.
One new program taking place on site is carpet bowling.
“We never had a room big enough before,” said Price.
Gordon Dainard, secretary of the association said they were allowed to be part of the construction design.
“The nice thing is, during construction they asked the lawn bowlers how much room they needed and they made it bigger to accommodate them,” said Dainard.
While seniors have been flocking to the new facility, Price said they have yet to see the full potential of the space. She explained that each activity room is restricted to a certain number of participants due to Covid regulations.
“It’s probably close to half of what we would usually have.”
The centre consists of a kitchen space for meals, carpet bowling, a pool room with three tables, a meeting room, a community hall for various programs – like line dancing, music, chair yoga, etc. – office space and more.
In order to use the facilities amenities, you need to join the seniors association.
Price said you need to be 55 or older to join. All you need to do is visit the leisure centre to register, show your ID and vaccine passport and they will take your picture and create a card for you to scan at the seniors centre.
The cost to join is $15 per year.
“It may well increase to $20 next year,” said Price.
It seem that people are quite willing to join.
Dainard said they held a four day membership drive and had 300 new members sign up,
“People are always impressed with the size. The most common comments I hear are ‘Wow, it’s a lot bigger than we thought’ and ‘This is for us? Like for the seniors of Mission” We’re getting something like this?’ They just seem to be astounded by how big and beautiful it is,” said Dainard.
He said the facility is “something Mission seniors can be proud of.”
“It’s all run by volunteers,” said Price, “we depend on them.
The centre is open every day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The official grand opening takes place on Oct. 1 as dignitaries will be on hand for a ribbon cutting and tour.
“It’s going to be very low key, just want to make it official,” said Price.