The Old Age Pensioners Organization’s 80th Anniversary luncheon at the Sooke Legion on June 20, was enjoyed by all, with visitors from Greater Victoria Br.#191, Fulford Harbour Br.# 171, several residents from Ayre Manor Care Home and two Life Members – Nellie Brehn and Audrey Goudie.
The delicious lunch was provided by Chef Brian Stewart and his group. Jack & May entertained with humour and music.
Shirley Lowe, regional director South Island, shared some history about the OAPO and the progress made with seniors issues in 80 years.
The organization was started by a retired businessman and a lawyer who encouraged retired people from all walks of life and all communities across B.C. to organize and advocate for their generation.
By 1937 they had enough support to go to Ottawa and demand security and wellbeing for all seniors. This included liveable pensions, affordable health care, medications and housing. The organization has been prodding governments, year after year for 80 years to acknowledge and respect the needs of pensioners in the community, province and country.
This year the convention was held in Agasszi, B.C where members voted to change the name to B.C. Pensioners and Seniors Organization, as younger members are not attracted to the word “Old.”
South Island represents Sooke, Greater Victoria, Fulford Harbour and Youbou branches.
Sooke Br#88 is in danger of losing their charter if they are not able to find dedicated members to hold office. They are in need of a president, secretary and treasurer, before the September AGM. There is not a lot of time required for these positions.
To be effective, the branches need the expertise and numbers of membership. Because of government cutbacks to all services, it is critical for seniors to keep hard fought benefits and continue to have input to the ministeries.
Interested new members and volunteers are asked to leave a message at 250-642-3847.
“Seniors must be recognized as an asset to society – not a burden.”