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

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Canadian military gains valuable disaster experience at RIMPAC

Naval, air force and army personnel practise war activities, humanitarian relief

Croatia loses in World Cup final, Victoria fans still jubilant

“We’re just a small little country, we only have 4.5 million people, and look how far we’ve come.”

Park ambassador pilot going well at Mount Doug

Dog poop bags, litter and cigarette butts among ongoing park issues

From chip bags to dirty jars, touring Greater Victoria’s recycling processing plant

Cascades Recovery in Rock Bay processes about 66,000 kilograms of materials per day

Royal Victoria Yacht Club sends strong presence to BC Summer Games

Oak Bay athlete Max Chapman competes in sailing this week

Proposed charges will cost Saanich housing affordability

The head of the association representing home builders in the Greater Victoria… Continue reading

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Beacon Hill off to Little League provincials after big win in district final

Victoria team goes 7-0 for the week in Central Saanich, beats host team 10-1 in final

How to sponsor a refugee, global refugee situation only worsening

‘U.S. is no longer a safe place for refugees,’ says local MP

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

LOCAL FLAVOUR: South Island expecting a bumper berry crop

It’s berry time in Saanich. My raspberries are getting plump and ripe… Continue reading

Most Read