The Senior Citizens Society of Grand Forks saw its membership plummet after the flood wrecked their former hall in City Park last spring. Among other things, the flood ruined the expensive indoor lawn bowling mat, their chairs, their sound system and threatened their morale, according to the society’s president, Ian Taylor.
Taylor said that membership went from around 130 paying individuals before the flood and was cut to approximately 50 in the aftermath. With no one spot to play cards, quilt, or bowl, the community risked breaking apart.
But just recently, the society signed a six-month lease with Ron Walker, the owner of the Hardy View Lodge near the Boundary District Hospital, and Taylor said that things are looking up. Taylor said that the society expects to move in to their new space by early August.
“We’re just ecstatic about it,” Taylor said, noting that the space looks to be bigger than the city-owned building where the seniors society held events before.
“It’s like having a wooden shack in the corner and now we’ve got the Taj Mahal.”
Since they were flooded out of City Park, the various groups that met at the seniors centre have spread out across the region: the quilters have met in Christina Lake and at the curling rink, and the crib players meet a few times a week at the First Baptist Church in Grand Forks. But while the locations are working, Taylor said, having everything back in one spot will be a relief to many.
“The quilters want something the can call home,” he explained, where they would be able to leave equipment and not have to pack up projects at the end of the day.
Rent for their new home will be significantly more than before though, costing $700 per month. Taylor said that the society hopes to rent the spaces out for events like weddings and celebrations of life in order to help cover the cost. Membership is picking up too. According to Taylor, approximate 40 people have bought back in to the society now that they know that there will be a home for the seniors centre once again.