Milton aims to revamp OAPO

May 14, 2016
During the 16 years I lived on Salt Spring Island, people who lived off-island, which could mean anyone else in the world, were always surprised when I mentioned that there is conflict on SSI.

This notion seems somewhat absurd when you think about the fact that people have and still do participate in wars, for example, regardless of what country they live in anywhere in the world.

I suppose what throws a lot of people off about Salt Spring is it seems to be a mecca for many spiritual and religious groups as well as attracting people of open mind.

This is true and I have to admit, for this reason, conflict seems much more vicious than in a community where you would expect it to be.

The following is an article about one such debacle. If you have ever been a member of a group and can read between the lines, you will get a chuckle and maybe even a belly laugh from reading this piece:

Gulf Islands Driftwood
May 3, 2000
Milton aims to revamp OAPO
by Tanya Lester

Ron Milton is trying to reorganize the Old Age Pensioners Organization(OAPO) at Central Hall but he is in a catch-22 situation.

If I can get the thing off the ground there are 40 people willing to join,said Milton. They are not willing to join if it s not a going concern.

To get things going, Milton organized a reunion on April 12 but that was a flop, according to him.

He singles out Elvie Hislop, former OAPO president, as someone who is sabotaging his plans but he cannot pinpoint the reason behind it. I m not one of those who quit because of ill feelings, he said.

Hislop is puzzled that Milton is pointing a finger at her. Hislop said she is the only one among former OAPO members, who met at Central Hal, that Milton has not called concerning his attempt to start up the group again.

I ve done nothing about it, said Hislop. Good for them if they want to get it going.

Hislop explained that she was involved in changing the focus of the Golden Hands group after OAPO members decided they no longer wanted to continue in the organization. Some objected to the concept of seniors that the group , s name suggests, she said.

The Golden Hands was a crafts group that has now been expanded to include a social day every second Wednesday of the month in the Central Hall s lower level at 1pm.

Hislop, who is Golden Hands coordinator, said there is a short meeting followed by games and visiting. It brings out about 20 of the 35 members each month with each paying an annual $5 membership fee. Proceeds from the group s Ganges Village Market grocery tapes provide an occasional bus outing, she said.

Golden Hands have also held a bazaar, bake sale and white elephant sale. Funds from these events have gone to Greenwoods, the Salt Spring Food Bank, Lady isi Minto Gulf Islands Hospital and Central Hall.

Milton envisions the OAPO offering Hawaiian dance (if a local instructor can be found) as well as line and square dancing. He would like to see exercise classes.

In addition to this, Milton would like to see the drop-in reconstituted in the lower hall where OAPO members formerly played pool, shuffle board, cards, games and bingo. He would like to see it open seven days a week.

The problem is Milton cannot get the keys to the lower hall.

He also believes the Central Hall is financially benefitting somewhat from the OAPO no longer meeting in the space.
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It can now rent out the lower level for small fees, he said.

According to Paul Konig, who is Central Community Hall Society treasurer, the OAPO leadership turned the keys to the lower hall over to the hall board in 1999 after it disbanded. The hall board has voted to allow Milton to use the lower hall space for OAPO meetings.

On the issue of the lower hall rental, Konig said groups are rarely interested in renting the space…

The OAPO has an active branch in Fulford.

–END–

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