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November 2021

Celebrating 65 years of community services to seniors


Message from the President and Executive Director

ilver Threads Service has been serving the community for 65 years. We proudly celebrate this milestone and recognize that our success and our growth over the past 65 years has been the result of those that came before, a long list of individuals, partners, funders and supporters. We thank all who have contributed to the rich history and legacy of Silver Threads. Throughout life, each age and stage of human development faces unique

challenges, in Victoria in the 1950’s citizens and community leaders saw the unmet needs of the elderly in ways that had not been recognized before. Silver Threads was born out of the community coming together to create solutions to address the issues seniors were experiencing. Loneliness, isolation and poverty were some of the obstacles and we began to provide the programs and services that would help address these issues and more. For over six decades, this has been the

mission and mandate of our organization. Our goal, consistent and unchanged since the beginning, has been to have a place for older adults to connect, contribute, and importantly be valued! Any organization with our longevity will have had its ups and downs. Silver Threads Service has weathered setbacks, fires, financial crisis, centres closing and now a global pandemic. The constantly shifting sands beneath our feet this past year have been challenging to say the

least. However, as we celebrate 65 years and enter 2022, we are pleased with our progress, history and the ongoing support from the community. And although the road ahead may still be shrouded with some uncertainty, we are poised for success as the future unfolds and ask for your continued support and involvement. Marjorie Moulton, President Tracy Ryan, Executive Director

Stay Active • Stay Healthy • Stay Connected

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Silver Threads Service is a charitable, not-for-profit society that enhances social connections and well-being for seniors. We do this by providing programs and services that are accessible to all.


Seniors in Greater Victoria are engaged and supported, enhancing their quality of life.

Grand Opening of the Saanich Centre.


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Victoria Centre Victoria Centre opens in Centennial Square 1965

Thank you to the City of Victoria Archives for the use of the photographs. PR-0059-M01811, PR-0059-M01810.

WE RAGE WE WEEP DEMENTIA CONSULTING Championing Carers You’re not alone! I’m here to help.



he year was 1956, and in the City of Victoria, a public meeting was held to address the needs of seniors. Out of this meeting, two committees were created, one of which was the Personal Services Committee and the beginning of Silver Threads Service. Silver Threads opened an office in Spencerhouse on Cook Street. The goal was to “endeavor to find the resources to provide services for the welfare of elderly people.” A common issue of the people who came to the office was loneliness. Through increasing volunteer support and community connections, the organization began to make progress in addressing concerns. It was around this time that the idea for a centre was born, a centre where seniors could meet and chat in comfortable surroundings.

The City of Victoria Council began the steps to secure funding towards a new building, and Silver Threads established partnerships including one with St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. This partnership provided space for new offices and a social Centre. Counselling, meals, and dances and concerts were now able to be held and seniors gathered in droves. In 1965 a new purpose-built senior centre was opened in Centennial Square and the City owned facility was leased to Silver Threads Service. On opening day, crowds spilled on to Fisgard Street, and the event was best captured by the words of one of the speakers, “Today a dream has become a reality. This building provides a centre where senior citizens will have the opportunity of keeping both mind and body active.” By the end of 1966 there

were 2264 members and the centre was thriving. This was the catalyst for the organization to expand services into other municipalities, including Saanich, Esquimalt and Sidney. Although the buildings have changed, and bricks and mortar come and go, the purpose of Silver Threads remains the same. We continue to keep mind and body active for older adults. In March 2020, the Victoria Centre relocated and is now at the corner of Caledonia and Quadra Street, and works in partnership with the Crystal Pool. The newly renovated, 5,000 square foot centre provides a growing schedule of exercise classes, discussion groups, education and support programs and complements the Saanich Centre. Membership at Silver Threads Service is for both centres and we encourage those who haven’t visited yet to come by for a tour.


Thank you for your years of service to community!

If you are a senior who has started, stopped, or changed your volunteering activities this year we would love to hear your story. Call 250.386.2269 or email to learn more.

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Saanich Centre

Les Passmore plays pool at the Saanich Centre.

Saanich Centre, 1968 Thank you to the Municipality of Saanich Archives for use of photographs.

Congratulations on 65 Years serving Victoria’s Seniors

250-595-8008 | 1445 Ocean View Rd. Victoria

Saanich Centre sign 2021.


n 1968 The Municipality of Saanich entered the field of indoor recreation, with the official opening of the G.R. Pearkes Arena. The second facility opened the same year was the Saanich Senior Citizens Activity Centre at Hampton Park. On Sunday, December 8th, 1968 Mayor Hugh Curtis presided over the grand opening of this community project. In the Program for the day, it states: With the trend to shorter hours of labour and longer retirements, the satisfying use of leisure time looms as an issue of increasing importance. The Silver Threads Service has reacted to this challenge in the Greater Victoria region and has proven, beyond doubt, its ability to properly plan and program recreation activities for our older residents. It is a source of

very real satisfaction to Saanich that this facility, while remaining in the ownership of the Municipality, will be operated by Silver Threads. For over 50 years this partnership has thrived. Silver Threads have continued to excel in programming, while The Municipality completed

renovation projects and has maintained the building. Today the 12,000 square foot facility boasts over 20,000 visits per year and 60 programs and events weekly. On June 15th, 1986 the centre was renamed the Les Passmore Centre after Saanich Alderman Leslie H. Passmore. Mr. Passmore served 33 years in Saanich and he dedicated much of his time to the community. He had been a member of Silver Threads Service and served on the Board of Directors. In fact, our most tenured member is Les Passmore’s only child, Marjorie Russell, who has been a member of Silver Threads for many years. At her Father’s urging she took out a membership when she was in her 30’s and she has maintained her membership ever since. Now in her 90’s, we were pleased to celebrate the Saanich 50th Anniversary with her in 2016. Today the Centre is known as the Saanich Centre of Silver Threads and the Les Passmore Centre. While the programs may have changed, the spirit and enthusiasm continues. The centre serves a wide variety of social and recreation needs of older adults, from online classes and technology training, to Pickleball, table tennis, and Zumba Gold. There is something for everyone 55 years and better and a variety of interests. There are goings on we couldn’t have imagined in the 60’s!

Les Passmore's daughter Marjorie and granddaughter Kimberley

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Sounds of Music

Saanich Songmen

Members of the Hampton Concert Orchestra..


ver the years music has been a big part of the scene at Silver Threads Service, from the fun and whimsical to the classical. The value and enjoyment of singing, learning to play an instrument, moving to music and listening to bands have all had a prominent place in the past 65 years. Music supports the timeless human need for belonging, and simply enjoying the company of others. In the 1960’s this belonging was evident in the hilarity of the Kitchen Band that practiced at the Sidney Centre. The 17 members played instruments that included


the clothes basket base, the frying pan banjo and all performers accompanied on kazoos. Said one of their conductors, “We are too busy to grow old.” The bands and groups from the early 60’s, 70’s and 80’s included the Happy Gang Old Time Band, the

Hampton Happy Gang and the Goldenaires Old Time Band. In the 70’s, two choirs joined the musical family at the Saanich Centre with the addition of the Hampton Singers and the Saanich Songmen. Both choirs continue to this day, and a highlight is when they performed together at the Saanich Centre. The Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner events, where the Choirs often performed, always featured musical entertainment. You could gauge the audience’s reaction by the feet moving under the table, the voices singing along and on occasion the dancing. All genres from country, to Celtic and classics from the past were enjoyed. A good meal, some time with friends and some good music always made for a special night. The Hampton Concert Orchestra began in 1968 and is now in its 53rd year as an amateur symphony orchestra at the Saanich Centre – the longest continuous run of any amateur orchestra in the Greater Victoria region. The orchestra performs classical music concerts at various venues and is a treat to see. Today, we are lucky to have the Hampton Singers, the Saanich Songmen and the Hampton Concert Orchestra waiting in the wings to resume post-COVID practices and performances. We have ukulele lessons for beginners to experienced and the Song Circle meets twice a month for the pure joy of singing in a group, no matter what your ability! But we all look forward to the time when the music returns, who knows, maybe the Kitchen Band will make a comeback.

(Above) 1968 Christmas Dinner.

(Right) Silver Threads Kitchen Band April 2, 1968, Colonist.


on 65 amazing years serving the community!

Here’s to many more! e! Your friends at



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Serving During COVID


Cindy receives her weekly groceries and a treat.

othing in our 65-year history could have prepared us for a pandemic, so it is worth a mention and to record in our history books. In March 2020, none of us knew how things were going to unfold. Our centres closed, staff stayed home and we began to check in with our members by phone and email. Some people were managing, some were not. Isolation that was there before COVID increased and it was a challenge to get out, get groceries and run errands. We connected with other community agencies, our funders and began to pivot services. By early April we began a Meal Delivery Program. A team of staff and volunteers brought frozen meals, soup, baked goods, hygiene products and dry goods to seniors once a week. We thought that we would run for a few months. In fact, the program ran for 17 months, to the end of August 2021. During this time, we: • Delivered 7,837 meals • Made 3,375 visits • Distributed $117,000 worth of groceries

We got to know so many great people and built connections and the positive feedback from those we were helping included such good feedback: “This was an important support during the pandemic” “I appreciated the connection, the food, and the wonderful volunteers” “All of the staff and volunteers from Silver Threads have been terrific. Thank you so much for all you have done for me this difficult year” "I thank you from the bottom of my heart “ In September 2021 we began to transition to Food Programs within our Centres. We have daily lunch service at the Silver Spoons Café at Saanich, as well as Food Share pick up and frozen meals offered at both Centres. The More than Meals Program received financial support from generous individual Donors and the following organizations: Island Health, United Way Southern Vancouver Island, Victoria Foundation, First West Financial and Island Savings.

Embracing Technology


65 Years of Service For seniors in our community!

“My heartfelt congratulations to Silver Threads on their 65th anniversary. As a long-time advocate for seniors, I recognize the positive impact of fitness programs, social events, and arts and crafts programs, which allow for connections to form among seniors in the community. I am grateful to Silver Threads for providing such valuable services, information and referrals, and programs for the seniors of Victoria.” – Isobel MacKenzie, BC Seniors Advocate


ne thing we learned during COVID is that being able to use technology to connect to the people and services that are important, are skills anyone can learn. We are providing support and classes for those

who are learning, and for the more advanced, we have the Victoria Computer Club at the Saanich Centre. Many of us are comfortable using zoom and there are Travel Series, Brain Games and the ACTs program that are online.

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ilver Threads Service celebrates 65 years of service and gives our thanks to those who have come before. Thank you to our Founders, past Board, staff, volunteers, members, our funders and partner organizations and all those who came before. Your contribution lay the groundwork and built the foundation that has made our organization the success it is today.

Thank You! STAFF 2021-2022 Tracy Ryan, Executive Director Anne Nelson, Saanich Centre Director Ro Fife, Saanich Centre Administrator Erica Loenen, Victoria Centre Administrator Shelley Brown, Program Manager Lisa Coulson, Program Coordinator Kim Davidson, Program Coordinator Sandy Firth, Bookkeeper Donene Eve, Food Services Coordinator

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2021-2022 Dr. Marjorie Moulton, President Andy Robinson, Secretary Shawn Rankin, Treasurer Margaret Jacobson, Director Kerri Gibson, Director Gail Snider, Director Twyla Johnson, Director

CONGRATULATIONS TO SILVER THREADS SOCIETY on 65 years of supporting older adults in Victoria!

— Congratulations to — Everyone involved with Silver Threads on 65 years of service to the Greater Victoria community!

THANK YOU TO OUR 2020-2021 FUNDERS City of Victoria District of Saanich Federal COVID Recovery Funds First West Foundation Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch: Community Gaming Grant Island Health (VIHA) Island Savings Provincial Employees Community Service Fund

The R.K. Grant Family Foundation The Victoria Foundation: Anonymous Donor The Victoria Foundation: The Nellis Roy Moyer & Elizabeth Moyer Memorial Trust The Victoria Foundation: Rapid Relief Fund United Way Greater Victoria

Congratulations Silver Threads on your 65th Anniversary

We are a proud supporter of Silver Threads Service. Congratulations and thank you for the work you do in the community!

Southern Vancouver Island

“I sincerely thank on behalf of myself and Council, Silver Threads for 65 years of service in our community. It is really remarkable when a community agency has been serving so many people for so long. It is important to stop, take the opportunity to say Congratulations and also to say thank you.” – Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria

Congratulations on your 65th Anniversary, what you do every day for our community is no small task and is very important. We are proud to be your partner by providing Cyber-Security and great IT Support! 250-475-7510 •


Congratulations on 65 years of service! It’s an honour to work with you to improve local seniors’ lives.

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to Silver Threads on 65 years of enhancing social connections and well-being for seniors. Thank you.

Silver Threads Service Donation Form Yes! I would like to support the programs and services of Silver Threads and celebrate 65 years of service to the community. Name:



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Grace Lore

Hon. Murray Rankin

Rob.Fleming.MLA@ 250-356-5013

Grace.Lore.MLA@ 250-952-4211

Murray.Rankin.MLA@ 250-472-8528



In the Amount of: $ Visa


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Donations can also be made online, using the secure Canada Helps page All donations over $20 will be issued a tax receipt. Charitable Tax #107981037RR0001 Mail to: Silver Threads Service, 1911 Quadra Street, Victoria BC V8T 4C1 Thank you for your support!

VICTORIA CENTRE 1911 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 4C1 250-388-4268

SAANICH CENTRE 286 Hampton Road, Victoria, BC, V8Z 1H1 250-382-3151

Silver Threads Service is a charitable, not-for-profit society. Charitable #107981037RR0001

Family Caregivers of BC

65 years of supporting Seniors. ors.. ors Thank you, Silver Threads.

(FCBC) is a provincial, not-for-profit that proudly and compassionately supports over 1 million people in British Columbia that provide physical and/ or emotional care to a family member, friend, or neighbour. FCBC supports caregivers by providing access to free information, education and supports that enable caregivers to feel more confident and successful in their important role.

We would like to recognize Sliver Threads for their important work improving the lives of Victoria seniors for 65 years. At TELUS Health, we are happy to play a part in helping seniors live independently with TELUS LivingWell Companion.

Worry less, live more. |

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