|"You Seniors Have Sure Got It!"|
"Morinville Rendezvous Seniors Club"
The standard practice for building a community recreation hall or Senior Citizen's Centre is to call upon all the provincial government agencies possible to hand over the money, then hire a contractor to do the work. Not so with the seniors of Morinville, Alberta.
The seniors in this farming community near Edmonton wanted a recreation centre. In 1985 they approached the Provincial Government for some money. The government told them they didn't have any money for their endeavour. So what did they do? They went out and raised the money themselves.
They raised nearly half of the necessary $250,000 to build the 8,000 square foot facility. Two of the prime movers and shakers were my uncle, Peter Gibeault and Ferd Vervynck, President of the Rendezvous Senior Citizens Club:
"We raised enough money to put up the shell of the building and then the donations just started to roll in."
They raffled off a car and cleared nearly $26,000.
"We went from business place to business place and got more money. And we knocked on doors and took donations. We held an auction and took in $2,700 and the women held suppers, like the one for the curling association which raised $435."
(Incidentally, the car was won by a man from Nova Scotia who bought a ticket while visiting relatives!)
While the hall is not completely paid for yet, it will be as it is rented out regularly for weddings and other large gatherings. The Morinville Chamber of Commerce has rented a permanent office in the centre.
As Ferd Vervynck says: "In this town we do it the old fashioned way. We work for it!"
Do they get praise?
"People are always saying to us-you Seniors sure have got it!"
The people of this small rural community have a real spirit that would be the envy of towns and cities everywhere. As we were going to press with this book, Morinville was on the brink of entering the Guinness Book of World Records. Not to be outdone by the Vergerville Easter Egg or St. Paul's UFO Landing Pad, this town of 5,000 boasts the World's Largest Toque. The grey and burgundy stocking cap is 15 feet high and 39 feet wide at the base. It took 136 volunteers to knit it!
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