By Zachary Cormier
The Kozy Korner Senior’s Centre has been around for a long time.
The organization was originally opened on Oct. 22nd, 1971 by the then Town’s Council on Aging in what is now the Lacombe Day Care Centre. In 1973 the Kozy Korner split off from the Council on Aging and became its own independent community organization called the Lacombe Kozy Korner Community Centre, located along 53 St.
“They bought this property, I think there was three lots here, and developed it to the point where they built the building,” said Kozy Korner President Lawrence Henderson of the building’s current location.
According to Henderson, the new building was paid for with a $130,000 grant from the City and has been continuously updated for the past 30 years.
“It was built by a lot of volunteer work. These sorts of facilities have to run by volunteers. I put in probably 100 hours a month here,” said Henderson, who is retired from all of his other jobs and now spends much of his time at the centre.
“After about 2000, I seemed to get involved over here and became a director one day and a president the next and I’ve been here ever since,” he added.
Today, the centre offers a number of different activities for senior citizens, including coffee every morning, floor curling, floor bowling, shuffleboard, pool and pretty much every card game you can imagine.
“It gives me something to do. I lost my wife on Thanksgiving Day last fall, so it’s a great thing for me to do. I don’t know what you would do if you didn’t have something like this,” Henderson said of why he has stayed involved at the centre for so long.
There is a certain quality about the Kozy Korner that only a building that has been standing for more than 30 years can have. The décor and appliances are an eclectic mix of old and new. For example, the kitchen is done up with a modern dishwasher, fridge and counters, and yet it still has the original stove from the ‘70s. The centre still uses the original hot-water heating system as well.
The building itself is made up of two large floors. The main floor is taken up by a large community hall as well as a kitchen, board room and office.
The basement, on the other hand, primarily holds the floor curling rink and the centre’s three pool tables, two of which are full sized snooker tables. There is also a small room that is rented out by one of Lacombe’s crafting clubs.
Despite all of the activities that are available, Henderson said the centre’s membership numbers have been going down in recent years. “Things have sort of backed away because the numbers aren’t here,” he said, adding last year the organization lost 12 of its members.
“It’s hard to replace them. We have more ‘new’ retirees wanting to go somewhere warm in the winter time. In summer time they’re busy golfing.”
He added while the centre’s main source of revenue is hall rentals, memberships are still important to a community organization.
“We finance this place primarily by rentals and the membership is around 130,” he said.
Memberships for the Kozy Korner Senior’s Centre cost only $10 per year and go towards the maintenance of the facility.
For a full schedule of activities, residents can visit the Kozy Korner.