ROSSLAND SENIOR CITIZENS – BRANCH #45
Report to West Kootenay/Boundary Regional Meeting – Midway B.C.
January 2019 to March 2019
April 15, 2019
Our membership count is down to 42 as of April 2019 because of all the renovations
and construction has been in progress since last June. Our hall was quarantined for
two months while they removed the ceiling tiles and wallboard to extract the asbestos
that has been in the building since it was built.
The Rossland Seniors Association has had a rather troublesome year in 2018 and
through the first month of 2019. We have had our dedicated senior’s hall under
extensive renovation and rebuilding. The old hall, originally built in 1904, had been left
with little maintenance and as a result, was in terrible condition. The Rossland seniors
thought they would lose the hall for a time; however, we agreed that we would really
buckle down and raise enough funds to finish the rebuilding that had been started in
2005. To add to our burden, the ceiling in the halls backroom collapsed in September of
2018. That, fortunately, did not dampen our spirits to keep pushing for more funds to
rebuild before the newest catastrophe befell us. In the end, we finally got some help
from our city and Columbia Basin Trust when they decided that it would be worth their
while to help us put the finishing touches on the building’s façade and went half and half
with the seniors with the cost of rebuilding the backroom. Today, we are fully functional
We lost about twenty-five members because of a mold problem during the 2016 – 2018
seasons. That problem too has now been eliminated and the word is getting out that we
are back in the business of being a dedicated senior’s organization again.
We are slowly getting our activities back up and running.
Mondays: We have a senior’s art group that displays that being a senior by no means
lessens that ability to paint beautiful paintings. In the evening, we have a very active and
well-attended Quilters Guild. This craft is open to both seniors and the general public of
Tuesday mornings; we rent our hall to a woman who makes salsa for the Ferraro food
stores and several restaurants in Rossland, Trail, and Castlegar. We also have a senior’s
get-together with various school groups who drop in to dig for information about the
past and to meet the people who actually lived in Rossland during the 20s, 30s & 40s.
To the kids who sometimes bring their parents, they tell us it’s like talking to a human
Wednesdays we have an open house drop in during the mornings and afternoons. The
Rossland seniors have an extensive collection of 78, 45 and 33 1/3 records. We also
have many taped hours of the old radio shows, which is very popular. We have an
extensive library that is being restocked (when the back room ceiling collapsed, it ruined
about 75% of our existing library stock). The Rossland Old Time Fiddlers practice at our
hall in the evenings, which always draws several people off the street who drop in to
just listen to the old dance tunes of yesteryear.
Thursday mornings we have seniors stretching program that is very well attended.
Following the stretching, we have a social time with tea & coffee. The snacks, such as
cookies, cakes and all else must be homemade, not from a store. Thursday afternoons we
have a ladies singing group renting the hall to practice their group singing (or just plain
love to sing the old songs without practicing).
Fridays: We have a bridge club. The husbands who don’t play bridge gather in the
back room to play board games, cribbage and or poker.
Though the Rossland seniors don’t own the building, the city allows us to rent it so we
can pay our expenses. The Rossland seniors don’t pay rent; however, we must pay for
the light, heat, water/sewer, and all janitorial work. We must also pay for all minor
repairs that are needed.
In March, we held a “Pat Yourself On Your Back” dinner to thank ourselves for the hard
work and sacrifices we went through to rebuild a 115-year-old building that the city
wanted to be demolished. It took us 14 years to raise the funds needed to do what was needed,
but we did it.
We hold pioneer dinners (sporadically), that is made up of the old fashion foods that
our moms and grandmas used to cook (again, nor store-bought foods allowed). The most
popular dish is hamburger gravy with mashed potatoes. Homemade bread pudding is our
most popular dessert.
We had homemade ice cream and homemade pie day in June of 2018 and had more
than 165 people come through our doors in two hours. It was a lot of work; however, in
those two hours, we made a bit more than $800.00 after expenses. We could have made
a lot more but, we ran out of pie and ice cream.
In March, we had a ten-month-old baby girl join our Seniors Association. From what we
have been able to find out, she is the youngest bon-a-fide member of any senior’s
organization in BC. Her 2½-year-old sister joined, along with her mother as well. All
three have their Seniors Association of British Columbia membership cards.
We will be having our annual Spring picnic in mid-June. We always vote on the type of
food wanted and slow-cooked roast beef and mashed potatoes always garner the vast
majority of votes.
Rossland Seniors Association President