Submitted – Fernie Seniors Centre
The Senior Citizens Club of Fernie & District capped off their 60th Anniversary Celebrations on Saturday, September 28 with a celebratory dinner and dance. A delicious dinner was provided by Kristy McKee and her students from Fernie Secondary School and amazing music by Peter & The Wolves kept the crowd dancing well into the evening
Sixty years ago, two men had an idea – to create a place that older people could gather for games, food, and friendship. Mark Branch and Howard Martin set up a few tables in Harper’s Pool Hall in 1958. As the numbers increased they decided a larger meeting place was needed. Jim Ross’ New Moon Cage closed its doors and the Seniors Club was able to rent what is now Lunch Box, located in the Northern Hotel. Led by Florence Starr and aided by a dedicated Executive Committee, membership to the Club grew. Mrs. Starr retired from Club President in 1968 and Mrs. Iannucci took over until 1969 when the extremely hardworking Lydia Brenner took the reins. In 1978, the new owners of the New Moon Cafe decided not to rent the Club space and the move was made to the Elks Hall. The Seniors Club found these moves inconvenient and set forth to find a dedicated and permanent location.
In 1979, the Club held a meeting with the City of Fernie and immediately started canvassing the community for support to realize their dream of building what is the current facility of the Seniors Drop-In Centre. With the help of council, government grants, and the amazing support of Fernie residents, the current building was constructed and the Club has remained active here since. The Drop-In Centre, as well as the Club advocacy role and weekly programming and special events, remain a valued asset to Fernie.
The Seniors Drop-In Centre gratefully acknowledges the support they have received from the businesses and people of Fernie over the years. Without this support, none of this would be possible.