The Valley Seniors Organization of Duncan wants the community to know that its activity centre on Government Street is open for members.
The Valley Seniors’ very active centre is for people 55 years of age and up to go socialize, share a meal, watch visiting entertainers and play bingo and other games and activities.
Ron Hill, president of the VSOD, said, like many other senior centres, businesses and organizations, the VSOD’s senior centre was shut down for a number of months when the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared in March, 2020, and reopened in June of the same year.
But, Hill said, some of the centre’s activities are currently restricted as per instructions from Island Health, including its popular dances, but entertainment is still permitted as long as health protocols are observed.
“We’re operating under the same protocols as restaurants and clubs, but our kitchen is still running and, while our members don’t have to wear a mask while eating, they are required to wear a mask while moving around,” he said.
“We try our best to keep distances from one another and police ourselves when required.”
Hill said the VSOD’s membership was up to 1,000 people before the pandemic, but it has dropped to 575 this year as the pandemic drags on.
“We expect quite a few will return when the pandemic is finally over and they feel more comfortable,” he said.
“Our big money maker here was bingo but while we used to get 90 to 100 people attend the games, we’re now only getting about 40. Fortunately, our membership continues to support us through donations.”
Shirley Kolompar, the VSOD’s first vice president, said everyone entering the centre has to be checked to ensure they are double vaccinated before that can get in.
“As we’re seniors, approximately 85 per cent of us have had our booster shots as well,” she said.
The centre is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays.