Elder College on the grow

Programming at Greenglade has seen jump in members

Pottery student Glynne Turner starts a project as Deb Hewat (background) works on a bowl at the Greenglade Community Centre.

In one year, membership at the Elder College at the Greenglade Community Centre has gone from 60 people to 150, marking great success for a program that caters to area seniors.

Elder College, run by Panorama Recreation, started at Greenglade in Sidney in January, 2011 and has seen an explosion of people taking advantage of its $15 membership fee. For that fee, says Panorama’s community recreation co-ordinator Dustin Ray-Wilks, people in the 50-plus age range can take advantage of low-cost programs, from pottery and fitness to education and more. Throughout January, they are offering two memberships for the price of one.

The facility also recently was upgraded and held an open house Jan. 9. Thanks to a Service Canada New Horizons grant, Ray-Wilks said they expanded and improved the Elder College lounge space, added more programs and brought in more volunteer instructors. They also hired a part-time assistant.

“We’ve probably doubled the number of courses on offer,” he said.

Birgit Larsen, who calls herself a new senior at 65, was at the open house to see what programs are to her liking.

“I’ve seen Elder College advertised at Panorama and now, at 65, I am interested in taking some of the programs. It’s pretty interesting when you turn 65 and are a senior — you start to receive your pension cheques.”

Larsen said she saw a few programs she might be interested in taking, especially one on writing down memories.

“The stories that people have to tell,” she continued, “and soon, I will be one of them.”

She recalls riding a motorcycle all the way to the Northwest Territories, and said retelling an adventure like that would be great fun.

In the pottery studio, students Glynne Turner and Deb Hewat were busy working on new and ongoing artwork. Turner said she started it last year after having no experience and after two lessons, was hooked.

“I tried it and I just fell in love with it,” she said.

Hewat added she and many others have been in the program since it started and have created a great community, built around making pottery.

“It’s such a great mix,” she said. “You can share successes, learn something new and it’s time for yourself.”

The Greenglade Community Centre itself has added new programs and spaces for all ages — from a weight room and new teen centre, to gym space and a preschool program. Ray-Wilks called it an inter-generational community centre, as they try to build a hub for children, adults and seniors to interact.

Learn more about Greenglade and the Elder College programs at www.crd.bc.ca/panorama/booking/greenglade-comm.htm or call 250-656-7271.


Just Posted

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

READERS’ CHOICE: Saluting the stars of the Saanich Peninsula

Welcome to the Peninsula News Review’s 13th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, our… Continue reading

BCAM slated to get one of last remaining Lancaster bombers

Approval seems certain despite emotional Torontonian appeals

Saanich Peninsula athletes earn their place at B.C. Games

The Saanich Peninsula will be well-represented next week as the 40th annual… Continue reading

A sled dog with an amazing past shows a young pug the ropes

A local school bus driver and passionate dog lover has written his… Continue reading

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read