Editor, Mission Record:
The recent delegation to council by Isshin-Ryu Karate Karate Club is premature and seems to pit young versus elderly. Sadly, it is in response to another example of moribund actions by successive councils and yes, former Seniors’ Association representatives. A lack of planning and budgeting now witnesses a single building emerge in the crossroads of two deserving groups.
First, elders of Mission bought and paid for the building, which was previously used as a fire station, with tax dollars and now use a portion of the 5,000 sq. ft. building as a tenant. Secondly, the karate club, among other tenants, has used portions of the building sporadically, for a variety of events, over lengthy time periods.
Recently, council, in its wisdom and empathy for elders’ needs, made a compassionate decision to grant governance of the building to the Mission Seniors’ Centre Association. Sadly, it must be recognized, as an obvious outcome of inadequate planning, priorities and pro-active steps, several worthy entities are all vying for the same space and all must recognize this is impractical.
At some future date, given adequate funding from such sources as developer amenity fees, government grants, donations and such, a Seniors’ Activity Centre is anticipated but unfortunately in a time-sensitive situation, many seniors’ wonder if it will be in their lifetime.
By contrast, the youth or notably karate club deserve a facility and efforts to locate should have been ongoing and I am optimistic a suitable location will be obtained. In this context, there are more than 10,000 seniors over age 55 years and regrettably, Mission is possibly the only municipality where successive councils have perpetuated seniors’ neglect and Mission may be the only municipality in B.C. with no Seniors’ Activity Centre.
So, rather than pitting youth against seniors, look at the situation that has emerged and why, collectively work out an amicable plan to accommodate needs of both. Is there another venue that can accommodate the karate club?
Seniors need a place to enjoy an end of loneliness and broaden camaraderie. Simply though, once equipment, furniture, pool table and such are established, they cannot be removed to provide needed space for the karate club. To give all readers an understanding of what is a Seniors’ Activity Centre, we draw attention to our web.site www.thecouncilclaw.ca.
Saner and empathetic minds must prevail, not to incite but to work in-concert to eradicate the massive neglect that has prevailed to date.
George F. Evens
The Elder Citizens Action Coalition