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Holiday feast: Sicamous seniors centre bringing back traditional Christmas gathering

Seniors and their families are invited to spend time and dine together
Volunteers work in the kitchen at the Sicamous Senior Centre, Dec. 26 2018. (Sicamous and District Seniors Centre Society/ Facebook)

Seniors and their families will be able to gather again this year for the Sicamous and District Seniors Centre Society Christmas dinner.

On Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m., the Seniors Centre will host its first Christmas dinner since 2019. They were allowed to plan a group dinner event last year but, due to Covid restrictions, it wasn’t able to happen until March.

This annual community dinner has a history dating back to the 1960s. Frances Maier, whose family ran the local dairy before it was D Dutchmen, was a member of the Catholic church and hosted an annual community dinner for many years. People didn’t have to be a member of the church to attend the dinner, and it was hosted on Christmas Day or Boxing Day for many years. In the early 2000’s, the church didn’t have enough volunteers to run the event, and the dinner moved to the senior centre. It no longer occurs on the actual holidays to allow volunteers to spend time with their own families.

Everything is volunteer-run and cooks and helpers are free to use the centre’s facility and equipment however they need.

In the past, the dinner was a first-come, first-served sort of affair, where “if you wanted to come, you just came and hoped there would be turkey left,” said Fred Busch, Sicamous and District Seniors Centre Society president.

Now it is more of a planned event, with organizers asking guests to register beforehand so that they can plan the menu and ensure they don’t overbook. If you are wanting to attend, register by phone at 250-836-2446, or email by Dec. 14.

The dinner is free and is held at the Senior Centre, 1091 Shuswap Ave.

If there is food left at the end of the evening, there will be a takeout-style option for people to pick up food and bring it home to reduce food waste.

The dinner is open to all ages though, and if there are younger people who want to come they are more than welcome if there is room after accommodating for the community’s senior citizens and members of their family who may be attending.

“We just need to know how many potatoes to peel,” said Busch.

The seniors centre also hosts a weekly lunch that costs $9. The lunch is usually well-attended but organizers realize that a midday event isn’t convenient for everyone, so the dinner hour allows for family members of all ages to attend.

READ MORE: Project Santa: Sicamous woman organizes second year of hampers for families in need

READ MORE: Shuswap fire departments gearing up for annual food and toy drives


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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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