Long-time community and seniors' activist Lorna Gibbs was awarded with a B.C. Community Achievement Award April 25 at Government House in Victoria.
Gibbs told me she was humbled by the recognition and says the award is representative of the work done by the teams of volunteers she works with through the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Centre Society, the South Vancouver Seniors Arts and Culture Society and as chair of the Seniors of South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.
The award recognizes and celebrates "the spirit, imagination, dedication and contributions of British Columbians to their communities." Lieutenant Governor Steven Point and Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, presented Gibbs with the award. Gibbs was nominated for the award by Kash Heed's office. Heed is the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview.
Gibbs was also recognized Thursday night at the Croatian Cultural Centre with a "Good Neighbour Award," presented by the Association of Neighbourhood Houses.
A statement regarding Gibbs on the B.C. Community Achievement Awards website, describes the senior as a "vibrant, articulate, leader in bringing about change, whether it is for seniors, the local environment, or securing park or daycare spaces."
I first met Gibbs more than 10 years ago through her efforts at re-greening Everett Crowley Park on Kerr Street in Southeast Vancouver. Since then, I've observed Gibbs fight tirelessly to have a seniors centre built in that community. Gibbs told me Monday her fight is far from over and the next step is to find the money to pay for architectural drawings.
As for her award, Gibbs says she was honoured to be included with the other B.C. residents recognized that same day.
"I feel humbled," she says.
Year-round basketball has been approved for Kits Beach. For the past 10 years, basketball at the popular courts was limited to May through mid-September when the hoops would be removed. The shortened time frame for playing started after area residents complained about the noise and bad language by players, particularly since the courts were located next to a children's playground.
But the playground has since been moved, and presumably the players have had their mouths washed out with soap, so the park board has given the go-ahead for year-round basketball. The hours will still be limited from dawn to dusk.
Park board chair Constance Barnes says the decision supports the board's new strategic plan, which emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle and active living. Barnes notes it makes sense to keep the basketball courts open since the public tennis courts and the new accessible playground at Kits Beach are used year round.
BUST A MOVE
Move for Health Day is being marked across the city with events at several park board facilities, including a fitness fair May 5 at the West End Community Centre on Denman Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The public can take advantage of free fitness classes and children's playtime, while family and friends can take part in individual and team challenges.
The Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown is marking the day with Urban Walk and Roll, May 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. Participants can benefit from a short health talk by exercise specialist Diana VanderVeen, followed by a warm up and walking tour of historic Yaletown. Healthy snacks and refreshments will be available after the tour at the Roundhouse.
Also on May 10 is Walk and Dance with the Dragon at the Kensington Community Centre, 5175 Dumfries, from 10 to 11 a.m. This free all-ages event includes helping a giant water dragon puppet move for health with resident artist Julia Carr. The procession will be followed by a flash mob inspired by the Year of the Dragon.