There are no plans to re-invent the wheel now that Port Dover seniors are organizing themselves into a social-recreational co-operative.
The constitution, bylaws, policies and procedures, registration forms, sign-up sheets, and newsletter of the Simcoe Seniors Centre will serve as the template for their activities.
“We can just adopt them as our own outright,” Adam Veri, organizer of the seniors group in Port Dover, said at an update meeting on Dec. 17. “Or we can just adopt pieces of it.”
Veri called the meeting at the Port Dover-Kinsmen Scout Hut to discuss governance issues. A total of 25 interested members listened in and shared their thoughts and questions.
Plans are to establish a panel responsible for adopting a governance model. Paperwork will be drawn up to reflect its findings and sent to a lawyer for incorporation. Incorporating as a non-profit seniors group, Veri said, is the top priority at the moment.
The Port Dover seniors group welcomed news that the Ontario Trillium Foundation has approved a $59,000 grant for programming. The Port Dover Board of Trade will hold the grant until the seniors centre is incorporated and a board of directors is in place.
“When do you hope to have something running?” asked Dave King of Port Dover. “Can I come tomorrow for coffee?”
Veri said the new centre will be in a position to receive members around the end of January. To keep the process “clean,” Veri recommended approving articles of incorporation before moving on to programming.
Veri got the seniors centre concept off the ground last winter. Nearly 300 people have expressed interest in joining while another 200 have expressed interest in volunteering. Some volunteers are willing to provide programming free of charge.
Other priorities in the new year include the establishment of committees. Veri said there could be a lunch committee to oversee meal programming at the Scout Hut, which has a certified kitchen.
A fundraising committee and housekeeping committee are other possibilities. Given pent-up demand in the local area, a bingo committee is also likely.
“I’ve spoken to some seniors,” said Ian McFarlane of Port Dover. “They’d love to play bingo here. The nearest bingo is on the reserve.”
As long as the seniors are using the hut, which is located on Hamilton Plank Road east of the lift bridge, they will have to co-ordinate with Port Dover Scouts. A Scout representative said the group uses the hall Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
In response to a question about obtaining their own facility, Veri suggested Port Dover seniors work with Norfolk County as long as they can. Were the group to get its own building, Veri said they would be responsible for the cost of repairs and maintenance.