More than 200 people attended a session with B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie in Terrace at the Happy Gang Centre in 2019. (File photo)

Happy Gang Centre closed but surviving

Seniors club offering grocery help to members

The Happy Gang Centre is weathering the pandemic situation, despite being closed.

There is still plenty of work being done behind the scenes, according to an update bulletin sent to members by Greg Cowman, president of the Terrace Old Age Pensioners Association, which runs the Centre.

“[We] remain active in keeping the flame alive and ensuring that when the all clear is sounded – we will be ready to go again,” he wrote.

The Happy Gang Centre, on Kalum St., offers meals, workshops and other activities to its members. It closed mid-March in response to the pandemic.

Members are welcome to reach out to the Centre if they need assistance with shopping or other daily tasks, Cowman wrote. The board of directors is also seeking nominations for its annual scholarship presented to a graduating high school student.

“We ask that you provide a name and a resume to the Happy Gang if you are aware of anyone,” Cowman wrote.

The Centre remains financially stable, Cowman wrote, but there are some looming expenses.

“We have some extraordinary expenses coming up, which includes repairs to the basement, due to the water damage, and insurance renewal,” he wrote.

In an interview with The Terrace Standard, Cowman said an accumulation of snow on the Centre’s roof this past winter lead to a flood in the basement.

“It was pretty cold all winter, and then suddenly we got a huge amount of rain, and it melted all the snow,” he said, adding that the roof drains were plugged so all the water poured over the side of the building, then leaked into the basement. “All the gyprock on the north wall needs to be replaced.”

Cowman’s bulletin said the Happy Gang is applying for some financial supports to help sustain it through the pandemic.

“We do have continuing operating expenses – heat, light, cable but [we have] applied for the BC Hydro for their small business grant to help with hydro and the Centre has applied for federal funding to cover our shortfall expected over the summer months,” he wrote.

The Centre is down to 60 per cent of its usual membership, which has stung the finances a bit, according to Cowman.

But some existing members responded to Cowman’s bulletin when it was posted to Facebook.

“I sure miss all you guys. And the lunches,” wrote Gwyneth Pritchard.

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