Seniors all set up with new drop-in premises

Activities continue for Sooke seniors

Gerry Quiring

Activities continue for Sooke seniors

Home is where the heart is and the Sooke Seniors Activity Centre is where the gratitude is pouring out to local firefighters.

The local seniors outfit was sent into a bit of a tizzy last fall as news broke that a move was afoot.

Owners of the Sooke Road location between the CIBC and Sooke Corner Store had served several months notice to the seniors, which kicked off a flurry of brainstorming finally resulting in the firefighters’ lounge being pressed into service as a temporary home. The lounge is situated upstairs at the District of Sooke headquarters.

The relatively spacious lounge had been fairly under-used and members of the department felt a thrice-weekly arrangement with the seniors would work out okay. The new deal kicked in with the New Year and the seniors are fitting in since their arrival on January 2.

“We are adapting,” said Nellie while playing scrabble with Myrna and Rita on the afternoon of January 13.

“It was very gracious of the firefighters,” said Myrna,“we’re most grateful.”

Making the most of available space in the municipal complex, the three ladies had their game table set up in the council chamber, an opportunity which was presented, reportedly, at the invitation of CAO Evan Parliament.

The whole scene is enriching – a space being used for comfortable socializing, rent free, plus wholesome food being prepared by seniors and made available to firefighters and district staff members. It makes sense in many ways.

Gerry Quiring and Jackie Davenport are keen on the expansive, well-equipped kitchen. The facility is well laid out and much roomier than what they had to work in at the previous location. The ladies especially like the ice machine and the four minute dishwasher.

Quiring could hardly find the words to express her feelings.

“There are not enough superlatives to describe these people,” she said. “We love to associate with staff, firefighters, etc. Talk about giving back to the community… are you kidding me?”

Bingo players Irene Healey and Jane Howland each enjoy dropping in three times a week. The ladies were seated at a table with more than enough room for several cards each… and a slice of lemon meringue pie.

“It’s a good way to get people out of their homes,” said Healey.

These two were also complementary toward the SFD and appreciative of the use of the premises.

“With all the money we’re saving on rent we’ll be able to help the firefighters along the way,” Healey continued, referring to pieces of equipment perhaps, or other forms of supportive donations.

For their part the firefighters are equally pleased with the arrangement.

Chief Steve Sorensen couldn’t hide his appreciation of the experienced women’s influence in the scullery.

“All in all it’s working out very well. They cleaned up the kitchen and got rid of all kinds of stuff.”

Sorensen went on to approvingly mention the lunch item that day – egg salad sandwiches.

“The relationship feels like it’s been going on for years,” chimed in deputy chief Rick McLeod, “not just a couple of weeks.”

A different and permanent configuration is envisaged for the seniors within the next year or so, quite possibly as part of the Mariner’s Village development. But for the time being, especially with the availability of an elevator in the municipal building, it’s safe to say there’s no panic.