Longtime computer club members Ena Cooke and Gaelan de Wolf discuss a program in the lab at the Monterey Recreation Centre.

Monterey computer lab reopens post-facelift

New paint, floors and wall art brighten techno-space

The aim to enhance knowledge got a little brighter with a facelift this summer for the computer lab at the Monterey Centre.

The Granite Room, home to the Monterey Recreation Centre’s 14-year-old computer club, officially reopened last week after a freshening up this summer.

The work was in part because of the drive of club leader Ena Cooke, who also serves as the Oak Bay Seniors’ Activity Association president.

It was Cooke’s desire to maintain a lab that’s inviting and friendly to work in with the refurbishment, said Monterey co-ordinator Lesley Cobus.

“It makes it so much more enjoyable,” Cobus said. “A new light and bright, healthier learning environment.”

Work included fresh paint for the walls and desks, wall art to open the space and new flooring.

Cooke’s been clicking about in the computer lab since its inception, and a member at Monterey for 20 years.

“I came right at the beginning. Next thing I knew I was a leader,” she said with a chuckle. “We’ve taught more than 1,500 people to use a computer.”

She knew how to use the technology when others couldn’t. They even had the gall to use the term “I can’t” which Cooke took as a challenge.

“I proved they could,” she said. People came as beginners, now they have several levels of users. The club holds workshops in the lab each Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

They range in topic from keeping your computer healthy with quick tips, to 15-minute website building.

“The other thing is it’s a lot of fun,” Cooke said. “We tell jokes, we have a good time.”

The computer club is always open to new members at the recreation centre, 1442 Monterey Ave.