O.A.P.O. worries over future

Local branch of the Old Age Pensioners Organization needs new members

Is there a future for B.C. pensioners and seniors (O.A.P.O) Br.#88 in Sooke?

Sooke Branch #88 was formed in 1964 by Mrs. Phyliss Johnson and a group of industrious volunteers who spearheaded the many services we have today.

Sooke Historian Elida Peers remembers, “The branch was started in different times and it was the beginning of services to seniors – such as seniors‘ housing, Meals on Wheels, seniors‘ bus, Contact Cupboard, hospice, the Seniors‘ Drop- in Center and more.” Volunteers have kept these services vibrant and available.  The community hall was built by resident volunteers.

The local branch provides the opportunity for Sooke residents to voice concerns and recommendations directly to municipal, provincial and federal governments. The current issues presented to governments by the O.A.P.O are the urgent need of more/affordable long term beds, better home support, ensure that the Canadian Institute for Health Research in medical drug trials be made available to the public, as well as many more. An important success was persuading the government to cover the cost of soft lens for cataract surgery as of June 4, 2012.

Branch #88 has continued to provide a platform for sharing ideas and participating in the community for 48 years. The branch is supported through memberships of $12/ year. A strong membership has more opportunity to be heard. We must continue to support strong seniors organizations to keep our rights, pensions, the health care that we have – intact and improved – and to protect each other from scams and abuse.

An article in the Times Colonist “Seniors Contribute Greatly To Canadian Society” – questions,  “How do we provide supports in communities to make them more age friendly?   Acknowledging seniors‘ contributions to family, friends, the local economy and community by getting involved and sharing expertise creates a strong organization and community.

Br. #88 welcomes new members 55 plus to  carry on the tradition of supporting the community.

Please plan to attend Sooke Br.#88 Annual General Meeting on Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. downstairs at the Sooke Community Hall,  speakers, meet and greet, Sooke service organizations.    coffee and refreshments.