Fifty seniors attended a luncheon event, more than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdowns and all but eliminated social circles.
The monthly event was held at the Vavenby and District Royal Canadian Legion building where sandwiches and soup were served after a speech by guest Clearwater Mayor Merlin Blackwell.
“It felt so good and yet it felt like it was just very familiar,” said Lynne Frizzle, seniors coordinator for the Wells Gray Country Seniors Society. “Just seeing the smiling faces, they’re so excited to be back, and they couldn’t wait to listen to the mayor…you get to hear that hub of noise that they’re so glad to visit.”
A group in attendance said while it was a bit odd to be out and about after over two years of pandemic restrictions, they were happy to be able to socialize once again. The luncheons provide a place for seniors to gather and catch up.
Blackwell spoke to the group for about an hour, touching on topics such as housing, doctors and nurses, the budget, the pipeline and community events. Throughout the speech, audience members would raise their hands, asking questions.
“This is awesome, finally getting out to see faces,” he first said to the crowd. “No masks, out in public, doing things together and hopefully with everything melting, we get to do a lot more this spring.”
He explained there are a lot of people in town that are planning activities, such as Cruisin’ Clearwater’s car show, seedy Saturday and music in the park.
Blackwell also noted that District of Clearwater council passed a motion that would fund the seniors programs for the next five years.
A budget item of $10,000 was added to the 2022-26 budget to ensure a coordinator and events such as luncheons would be funded until 2026.