First arriving in Fort McMurray back in 1976, the Golden Years Society is celebrating their 40 Anniversary.
Members past and present, former presidents and board members gathered at the society to honour the anniversary with a group lunch.
“That’s a long time I think for a non-profit to survive in Fort McMurray, I mean there has been so many ups and downs and people coming and going, I think we survived it because of who we are,” said Joan Furber, President of the Golden Years Society. “We have people who’ve been here since the beginning 40 years ago, to now who have made this home.”
Back in the beginning, they had 18 members and as of yesterday they currently have 311.
To honour the day, MP for Fort McMurray — Cold Lake David Yurdiga, a representative for both MLA’s Brian Jean and Tany Yao as well as Councillor Lance Bussieres spoke to the importance the seniors have in the community.
“You’re probably the most important part of the fabric of this community and certainly I think there is times when administration and council forget about how important you are,” said Bussieres.
But it’s not just administration and council where the frustration comes from for seniors as many believe the way they’re treated is subpar in a community where the average age is 31.
“I just don’t get it because everybody out there, I don’t care how young they are, they all have a mother and father and a grandmother and a grandfather, do they not want their grandparents or parents to be comfortable in retirement and have something to do,” said Furber.
Though the frustration is there, the anniversary still put smiles on everyone’s face. As part of the festivities, both David Yurdiga and the representative from Brian Jean and Tany Yao presented two different plaques commemorating the society on their milestone.
When asked what’s next for the society, “we need to get bigger and better” said Furber as she sees plans to possibly add a second floor to the building to match the number of members they have.