B.C. Seniors and Pensioners Nanaimo is celebrating eight decades of existence.
Sue Jarvis, B.C. Seniors and Pensioners Nanaimo’s treasurer, said Nanaimo branch No. 4 is the oldest in B.C. at 80 years and it provides benefits to senior citizens in the Harbour City.
Jarvis said it’s a social club for seniors and the centre, located on Labieux Road, is a home away from home for many.
“It’s a feel-good place they come here [to have fun] and to talk,” said Jarvis. “If you’ve got a problem, we also have several activities. We have one lady here who does a caregivers’ group once a month, so people who have lost their spouses, or caring for their spouses, they come and they sit and talk and cry. We do provide a service, we really do and social activities may sound like nothing, but they’re really important to some of those people.”
Among the events available, monthly soup and sandwich events and potlucks, weekly craft groups, tai chi, darts, cribbage and special occasions like a Thanksgiving party.
The provincial organization, which is 85 years old, meets once a year and has advocated for rights for seniors, according to Jarvis.
“We put in resolutions that are sent into the government for different [things] … this one’s about caregiver allowance, people are talking about that now, so that’s one of the resolutions that we send in,” said Jarvis. “The B.C. Old Age Pensioners, as a provincial group, were responsible for us getting our old age pension cheques. It was us that lobbied for that and the very first pension cheque went to a man up in Port Alberni and the cheque was for $20, that’s what they received then and now look what we’re receiving.”
If there are seniors who want to join, Jarvis said they should come down to the seniors’ centre at 2465 Labieux Rd. and fill out an application.
“The organization over the last 10 years has grown from eight members to 150, so we’re very, very proud of that,” said Jarvis.