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Monterey centre’s 50th anniversary party on hold in Oak Bay

Recreation facility celebrates small milestones as membership starts to return
Lesley Cobus, coordinator for the Monterey Recreation Centre, says they’re in rebuilding mode with nearly 1,000 members now compared to the more than 2,000 pre-pandemic. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

As Monterey Recreation Centre rebuilds its membership after the devastating impacts of COVID-19, leaders are holding off on celebrating its gold anniversary.

The Oak Bay centre turned 50 in September.

In 1968, the municipality purchased the estate home known as Kimbolton at 1442 Monterey Ave. for $50,000. The Oak Bay Seniors Activity Centre opened in 1971 and has gone through several name changes and renovations since, including a $1.2-million, 7,500 square-foot expansion in 1990, the addition of a glassed-in courtyard in 2001 and an elevator installed in 2010.

The Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library is attached, as well as the Oak Bay Volunteer Services that moved in this year.

RELATED: Oak Bay volunteer organization ready to reopen in new space (with video)

A part of Recreation Oak Bay, the centre works closely with the Monterey Recreation Activity Association, a registered non-profit that raises funds for member bursaries, equipment and other extras.

“In normal years we have a lot of events,” association president Gail Hughes said.

Membership and morale did take a hit with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, agreed Lesley Cobus, coordinator for the Monterey centre. But people are excited to get back to activities, interactions and opportunities to serve others. Membership was at more than 2,000 before and now they’re pleased to near 1,000 as 2021 winds down.

“We’re in rebuilding mode for sure,” Cobus said.

The 50th anniversary events are also tentatively rescheduled for May, 2022.

RELATED: Monterey Centre turns 40

With closures Dec. 25 and New Year’s Day, Monterey recreation resumes regular hours starting Jan. 2, open Tuesday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Membership is $50 a year and open to those 50 and older. The centre offers programs for adults of all ages. Call 250-370-7300 or visit for more information.

READ ALSO: Monterey students record their COVID-19 stories for provincial project

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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