Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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A meeting to discuss the forming of a Senior Citizens group in Brookdale was held September 15, 1977, in the rink. Two members of the Community Club and several Senior Citizens attended. Mr. McNiven, recreational director, from Carberry was present and outlined the advantages of a group and how to organize one. After some discussion it was decided to form a group in Brookdale, and officers elected were: president - Mr. A. Pickup, secretary - Mrs. D.R. Mitchell, treasurer - Mrs. L. McLeod. A meeting was planned for the following week and was held in the Masonic Hall September 21. After discussion it was decided to call the new group "Brookdale''s Good Neighbors". Attending the first meeting were: Mrs. and Mrs. Pickup Mr. Arthur May Mr. and Mrs. D.R. Mitchell Mrs. Nelson Mrs. McIntyre Mrs. E. Simpson Mrs. L.M. McLeod Mr. and Mrs. F. Swanson Mrs. A.W. Moffatt Mrs. R. Redlin Mrs. R. Lawrie Meetings were held at weekly intervals in the hall until the weather turned colder, when Mr. and Mrs.

Hunt kindly offered their home for meetings during the winter.

It was soon realized that a meeting place of their own was necessary and much time was spent during the winter of 77/78 making plans for such a building. A hall in the village of Ingelow was available and it was decided to purchase it with the view of moving the building to Brookdale and building onto it. Later this plan did not seem feasible. The Ingelow hall was torn down and lumber sold. Plans were made to build a new structure. The New Horizons representative, Mr. C. Zacharias and Mr. John Svenson of the Westman Senior Citizens Council informed the seniors group that they would not supply funds for a building but they would give them a grant to furnish it. Roland Stewart councillor at the time was making inquiries about putting artificial ice in the curling rink, when he was approached by the seniors about putting up a building for their use as well as for the community. After a lot of deliberating the community decided to do both, a building for the senior citizens and artificial ice for the curlers. It was a wise decision as both facilities have been well used. A fund raising drive, teas, raffles, dances were held to raise the necessary funds. A New Horizon''s Grant $11,000 was obtained to be used to furnish the interior.

Construction was begun in 1978, the building all being done by volunteer labor, but for the finishing of the gyproc, plumbing, and electrical services which were contracted. Fourteen months of labor resulted in a centre of which to be proud.

Credit should be given to Mr. Pickup for the planning etc. of the building and to Mr. R Davies and his committee for long hours of labor on the building itself. Total cost was approximately $30,000.

On July 5,1979 the members were able to hold a meeting in the new building, though the interior was not finished. Carpet and linoleum had to be laid and volunteer ladies did the painting. Mr. and Mrs.

Hunt donated doors for the interior and did the finishing on them. There were many donations of furnishings: piano - the Evans Family, stove and fridge - the Kinney Family, bookcase - Mr. and Mrs. C. Winslow, oil paintings - the Lawrie Family, tables - E. Simpson Family, record player - Mr.

and Mrs. W. Dickson. Many smaller items were donated by various people. A porch was added in 1980 improving the entrance.

Opening of Brookdale''s Good Neighbour Drop-In Centre Front row L to R: D.R. Mitchell, Percy Kilgore, Lottie McLeod, Mrs. D.R. Mitchell, Ruth Lawrie, Mrs. Moffatt, Back row L to R: Roy and Elsie Davies, Frans Swanson, Betty Redlin, Eleanor Swanson, Mrs. Pickup.

The centre was opened November 24, 1979 with a capacity crowd, many attending from several towns in the vicinity. M.P. Mr. C. Mayer and M.L.A.

Mr. J. Ferguson brought greetings from their respective governments. Mr. John Svenson brought greetings and congratulations from Westman Senior Citizens Council. Mr. C. Zackarias represented New Horizons. The ribbon was cut by Mr. D.R Mitchell, Mr. Frans Swanson, and Mrs. A.W.


Mr. C. Swanson was Master of Ceremonies. A Senior Citizens Orchestra from Minnedosa provided music during the afternoon. Members of the orchestra were aged 65-93 years. A varied program of music and readings was enjoyed by all. Guest speakers for the opening included R Drysdale, Councillor for the RM. of North Cypress and Ferne Graham, United Church of Brookdale. The birthday cake was cut by the executive - Mr. A. Pickup -president, Mrs. L. McLeod - treasurer and Mrs.

D.R Mitchell - secretary.

The ribbon and scissors were auctioned by Wm. Burch and netted $500. The scissors and pieces of ribbon which were given back to the centre, were arranged with pictures in a frame, by Mr. and Mrs. J. North and can be seen on the wall at the centre.

Brookdale''s Good Neighbors have held weekly meetings in the centre since the opening. But it is used by the whole community for showers, anniversaries, birthday celebrations, family reunions, etc. As well as meetings, The Senior Citizens have hosted playoffs during the winter games and often entertained members from other clubs. It was used one winter by the square dancers.

Quote from Drop-In News by Fred North, "The Drop-In Centre is a welcome addition to the active lives of the present members of the Good Neighbors Club and many others of the Brookdale Community. The interest and concern of the people of the community during the planning and building of the centre, and the membership and participation shown since, ensure that it will playa vital part in the district in the years to come."


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