Activities are starting up again at the Abbotsford Social Activity Association (ASAA) and new members and volunteers are welcome.
The non-profit association was established in the 1950s when a parcel of land on Cyril Street at Essendene Avenue was donated through a will to start an old age pensioners hall.
An old building was dragged to the property, and the Abbotsford Old Age Pensioners was incorporated on Jan. 25, 1973.
Most of the financial backing for the new building came from the Fraser Valley Fiddlers, who helped the members run bingo and fundraisers; they made more than $60,000 in one year.
Paul Anderson was the president of Abbotsford Grand Squares and on the board of directors for many years. He started a summer square dance club with proceeds going to the hall.
In 1992, the name was changed to the Abbotsford Seniors Association and in 2012 it changed to the ASAA after becoming the home for Suburban Swing, which attracted younger members.
Unlike other centres whose clubs are independent, ASAA has an MOU (memorandum of understanding) arrangement with their clubs; members have a say in how their organization is run.
The main hall has a dance floor with a stage and great acoustics, air-conditioning, a large kitchen and adjoining dining facility. These can all be rented out and enjoyed by private citizens and community groups.
The property has a big private parking lot with front and side entrances.
Dances and dance lessons happen in the main hall for line dancing, ballroom and social dancing.
The square dance club holds their dances twice weekly and there is a seniors’ awareness program which features wellness and exercise classes.
A separate building, called the Cyril Centre, holds activities such as AA meetings, crafts, card games, jam sessions for musicians, and a pool hall that offers tournaments.
Membership is $20 per year. This gives member a reduced fee for drop-in activities and the right to vote at general meetings.
Those interested in joining ASAA or in renting any of the facilities are asked to call 604-300-3870. (The website is currently being tweaked.)