Special to The Morning Star
On Dec. 10, 1954, the Golden Age Club was acknowledged as a Society for the senior citizens of Vernon and area, but it was in the early 1970s, that the usage of the Vernon Senior Citizens Centre was increasing in noticeable increments. There was a huge increase in members from 90 to over 400 in one year, to the point there was actually a wait list to become a member.
William Halina, at the time, was an alderman for Vernon who contributed considerably to the community especially in the area of seniors. After stepping down from politics, he became even more involved and was very active in the Vernon’s Senior Citizens Centre.
In 1972, then president William Halina lead the campaign for a much needed expansion of the centre which had a price tag of $150,000. With the assistance of the City of Vernon, provincial and federal governments, local businesses, clubs, donors, along with the initial $35,000 contribution from the Golden Age Club, the plans were put into place.
On Sept. 17, 1973, in his honor, William Halina opened the Halina Senior Citizens Centre, falling under the Vernon Senior Citizens Recreational Society. The expanded space was, and is, recognized as the Halina Room.
It is for that reason and dedication that the Centre is able to offer a space for the 50+ community. A place where social, educational and recreations interests are addressed and thus enhancing the quality of their lives. The Halina Centre has almost 400 members who have the opportunity to take part in the numerous activities, from card games, bingo and other games, to crafts, fitness groups and dancing on one of the best dance floors in town. A number of community groups have their meetings at the centre, including music, crafting, sports and the North Okanagan duplicate bridge club. There is a monthly pancake breakfast and the cafeteria is open to the community for light lunches and tea/coffee Monday – Friday; stop by on Wednesdays for fresh Cinnamon Buns. The craft shop is filled with all the handiwork of the dedicated Halina Crafters who are getting busy for the holiday season by creating an array of ugly sweaters available for sale. The Centre co hosts a seniors Christmas Party as well as a Seniors Spring Breakout with the Vernon Rotary; the plans are starting for both of these events.
To celebrate the 46th birthday on Tuesday Sept. 17, come join them for a piece of birthday cake and play a free special game of bingo (with the purchase of a regular game), starting at 1 p.m. Each of the special games has a prize of $46 (for 46 years)
Have a cup of coffee at 1973 prices…25 cents, for one day only.
Keep an eye on the upcoming changes at The Halina Activity Centre as it is in the midst of a rebranding, bringing an image that encompasses all those who are 50+, all the while respecting the past, honoring the present and planning for the future.
Find us hidden in the Vernon Rec Centre and learn about Vernon’s oldest 50+ Activity Centre. Contact the office at 250-542-2877 for details.