Strength in num­bers

Win­ter­ton’s rec com­mit­tee re­vamped; triples in size


Re­cre­ation in Win­ter­ton took a hit af­ter its pre­vi­ous com­mit­tee in charge of look­ing af­ter the lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tre dis­banded. But with the for­ma­tion of its new re­cre­ation com­mit­tee, things are look­ing up.

Formed fol­low­ing a meet­ing on Feb. 7 with mem­bers of the town coun­cil, the com­mit­tee has now grown from a six-per­son group to a mem­ber­ship of 19, in­clud­ing a seven-per­son ex­ec­u­tive.

Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Bill Walker said hav­ing such a large group will al­low for sub-com­mit­tees, which will help spread work around and get ev­ery­one in­volved.

“ We’re very glad that there was that much in­ter­est,” said vice-pres­i­dent Kim Reid, one of two car­ry­overs from the last com­mit­tee, along with Grace Brin­son.

“ Pre­vi­ously, it just kind of slowly went down­hill and the mem­bers ( left). When it was an­nounced there would be a call for a new com­mit­tee and then all these mem­bers showed up, we were very glad.”

For a com­mu­nity with just over 500 res­i­dents, re­cre­ation can en­tail many dif­fer­ent things, par­tic­u­larly when tak­ing into ac­count the dif­fer­ent ages in­volved. Like most ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in the prov­ince, Win­ter­ton is an aging town.

“ We’re try­ing to in­cor­po­rate all ages; the chil­dren, the mid­dle-aged, and the se­niors,” said Reid. “ In this com­mu­nity alone, there are a fair num­ber of se­niors. There’s not much go­ing on for them at all.”

There is a 50-plus club in the com­mu­nity, but Reid said it only has 12 mem­bers.

“ There’s enough peo­ple on this com­mit­tee that we’re cov­er­ing a lot of age groups,” said Walker, a na­tive of Win­ter­ton who re­turned upon re­tire­ment af­ter 40 years abroad. “ We have peo­ple from their early 20s right up to peo­ple close to 80.”

Along with ac­tiv­i­ties fo­cus­ing on spe­cific age groups, Walker said it would be ideal to come up with events that can unite them. Reid re­calls a lo­cal fam­ily re­source cen­tre once of­fered a multi-week cook- ing class that piqued the in­ter­est of both young peo­ple and se­niors in the com­mu­nity.

The lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tre, lo­cated next to Perl­win El­e­men­tary, is an as­set Walker hopes the com­mit­tee will use to its fullest po­ten­tial. He said rather than have it serve as a build­ing used by a core group of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, the build­ing should play host to events that in­ter­est all res­i­dents.

“ This is a com­mu­nity cen­tre,” he said. “ This is a place where peo­ple should come. You don’t need to go to an­other com­mu­nity group and have dart nights. We can do that here.”

An ap­pli­ca­tion is in to have a pair of sum­mer stu­dents hired for six weeks to help su­per­vise ac­tiv­i­ties for youth in the com­mu­nity.

The group should cer­tainly have the ear of the town coun­cil, should it be needed. Coun. Lori His­cock sits on the com­mit­tee’s ex­ec­u­tive as sec­re­tary, and Coun. Paul Coates is serv­ing as a li­ai­son be­tween the two groups. Coun­cil also agreed to cover util­ity bills for the cen­tre while the new com­mit­tee waited to get up and run­ning.

Birth­day par­ties, wed­dings, and rev­enues from the bar fa­cil­ity will play a part in mak­ing the cen­tre self-suf­fi­cient, said Walker.

“ We don’t need a lot of money to do this. All we need is money to cover the heat and lights.”

As for what the com­mu­nity needs in terms of re­cre­ation, the com­mit­tee is putting that ques­tion to res­i­dents through a needs as­sess­ment sur­vey. The feed­back will be used as a step­ping-stone to­wards plan­ning ac­tiv­i­ties.

“ Let the com­mu­nity tell us what their kids and fam­i­lies want to have from the rec cen­tre, and we’ll bring that back here,” said Walker. “ We’ll get more ideas there than from adults with grown-up kids like me, try­ing to de­ter­mine what five or sixyear-olds need.”

Reid said the anony­mous na­ture of the sur­vey will hope­fully help peo­ple give hon­est an­swers to bet­ter serve the work of the com­mit­tee.

Kim Reid (left) and Bill Walker, both mem­bers of the Win­ter­ton re­cre­ation com­mit­tee, in­tend to make good use of the com­mu­nity cen­tre in host­ing events for peo­ple young and old.

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