The Roblin Park Community Centre in Winnipeg celebrated 75 years as a vital hub in the city on Saturday.
Located on the west side of the city, the Centre holds a special place in the hearts of Winnipeggers.
Originally established as an army surplus building, it underwent renovations by locals following World War II.
Winnipeg’s Mayor Scott Gillingham attended the celebration on Saturday to present volunteers at the Centre with a plaque to mark the occasion.
“This year, Winnipeg is celebrating our 150th anniversary. So for half of Winnipeg’s history, Roblin Park Community Centre has been a gathering place and a place where people come together,” said Gillingham.
Alex Heese, the centre’s president, expressed the event’s profound meaning, particularly after recent pandemic challenges, emphasizing the joy of people coming together to support their community.
“Well everything was shut down, so nobody was able to gather. So it’s really awesome to see people starting to come back and congregate and support our community centre.” he said.
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The 75-year milestone coincides with the Centre’s winter carnival, which tends to draw a major crowd.
Icemaker Marcy Beaucage has been making ice for the many rinks and trails at the Centre for 37 years and he says he does it to show the kids the same support he received as a child.
“So it’s my way of now paying it forward, so to speak. And getting involved with people in the community is very enriching,” he said. “You get to meet a lot of different people, and the people who do it are doing it for the right reasons. They’re doing it for their kids, for other kids in their community, and we kind of look after each other.”
Longtime board member Wayne Tichon reflected on generations of community care, expressing excitement for the future as new families continue to embrace the centre.
“It’s exciting for me. Now my children are young adults, and I see all the young families arriving like we did when I started here,” said Tichon.
The volunteers, witnessing a growing neighborhood, aspire to see the Roblin Park Community Centre thrive for another 75 years.
— With files from Global’s Katherine Dornian
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