South Memorial Indo-Canadian seniors get community space

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From left to right: Sukhdev Samra, Mukhtiar Bhaia and Dhosanda Khara, who all frequent the field house. Photo: Lauren Boothby.

Reported by Lauren Boothby

Members of the South Memorial Indo-Canadian Seniors Association now have a proper gathering space in Memorial South Park.

Motivated by a love for the community, Jagtar Singh Purewal lobbied the city for a space in the Memorial South Park Fieldhouse and on Sept. 14, the seniors were given access to a conference room.

The new space means more convenience

“Previously, we just had the changing room,” said Purewal, who explained that the seniors had to leave the changing room when sports teams needed the space. “The seniors used to play cards in the changing room connected to a bathroom and showers.”

The seniors, who gather to play cards and socialize, will now use the conference room during bad weather.

Purewal, a former taxi driver, says he met the seniors in his daily visits to the park. He wanted to help the seniors, but was also motivated by his own love of the park.

“I come to the park every day. Rain, shine or snow,” said Purewal. “I grew up in this park.”

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One of the seniors at the South Memorial fieldhouse playing cards. Photo: Lauren Boothby

Renovations part of city plan

Darren Peterson, manager of citywide recreation for the City of Vancouver, said that in 2011 the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation began assessing public spaces, such as the 71 field houses across the city for community programming.

“The meeting room and the change rooms are there primarily for teams and groups that have booked our playing fields,” Peterson said. “But there’s still definitely value in a group of seniors getting together and socializing, playing cards and doing social recreation.”

The city completed renovations to the field house, built in 1886, this summer as part of the three-million-dollar Sport Field Amenity Improvement Project.

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