Lynne Irons leads a tai chi class on the back lawn of Goward House.

Seniors get into summer at Saanich’s Goward House

A large fundraiser is coming Goward house on Sept. 18, Victorian Vogue Fashion Show, with heritage fashions and high tea for $20.

Nestled in among the trees on Arbutus Road, a heritage house turned local seniors’ centre is the place to be for seniors looking to try a new activity or socialize with friends.

Goward House, a non-profit society run mostly by volunteers, opened in 1991. Membership is open to people aged 50 and over, but five per cent of the memberships are open to those under 50.

“We’ve never come close to reaching our quota of five per cent,” said Elaine Leonard, Goward House administrator. “So it’s pretty well open to anybody.”

About 450 people are members, whose annual fees fund most of the operations at Goward House.

Activity fees, kitchen sales and fundraisers make up the rest of the funding streams along with a small grant from the District of Saanich, Leonard said.

“We would like more funding, but it allows us to have our independence and to do other things,” she said. “It’s a double-edged sword.”

While many groups at Goward House take breaks during the summer, Leonard said it gives them an opportunity to plan other events.

For example, staff is scheduling Steve Wallace driving sessions in the downstairs of Goward house when the space is free during the summer.

“I find that seniors really want to be proactive, number one, about their health, and about things that they see on the horizon that they need to know about, like where they are going to live, downsizing [and] driving,” Leonard said. “Even if they’re not quite at that age, they seem to be really interested in making sure they have all the information.”

A large fundraiser is coming on Sept. 18, when Goward house will be hosting a Victorian Vogue Fashion Show, which will include heritage fashions and high tea for $20.

“We’re being as authentic as we can to a high tea … even researching the menus,” Leonard said.

Tickets are currently being sold to reserve seats for the tea.

“More than bringing in money, our goal is always to bring people into Goward House that haven’t been here before,” she said.

Goward House serves as a gathering place for seniors, who can often experience isolation in the community.

“I think our greatest purpose is to just keep the seniors engaged in wanting to be active with other seniors,” Leonard said.

Hans Gelens, who has been coming for the past decade, expressed similar enthusiasm about the importance of Goward House.

“In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful seniors’ centre in Victoria,” Gelens said. “It’s always a pleasure to be here.”

Goward House is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily schedules of activities can be found at gowardhouse.com, or at Goward House, 2945 Arbutus Rd.

andrea.peacock@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

Christian bookstore’s Victoria location marks 80 years in business

The store opened on corner of Douglas Street, View Street in 1939

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

Most Read