Happy Thanksgiving to my American family and friends! Here in Canada, we’re roughly halfway between our Thanksgiving (early October) and Christmas.
Christmas is still more than 4 weeks away, but don’t tell that to my friends at BOAA.
Christmas decorations are already on display in this grand building in Bowmanville’s heritage district, east of Toronto.
You can’t help smiling when you enter this educational and recreational centre.
People are friendly. BOAA also holds many fun events and a surprising number of them involve costumes and decorations!
How many associations can say their executive director (the wonderful, witty Angie Darlison, right) was a taco one year and a chicken the next? Not too many, I’d bet. Angie ensures that a sense of humour is alive and well at BOAA.
BOAA is big on celebrating the seasons and occasions, and its volunteers are some of the best decorators of all.
In November, the Christmas trees go up.
BOAA stands for the Bowmanville Older Adult Association. It’s run by professional staff and avid member-volunteers. Its members are very active people 55 years and older. They’re usually on their way to or from classes and activities held at the centre.
But when the Christmas village is set out on huge tables in the building’s original front hall, many linger for a while, smiling.
It’s been at least 8 years since “Bennyville” became a BOAA tradition.
“Benny Young is a member of the BOAA and the entire village is his,” says Angie.
“When Benny moved to Bowmanville from Nova Scotia he offered to set it up each year at the BOAA for our members and guests to enjoy. He works days and days setting up the village.”
Angie says some members bring their family and friends to see it.
“It’s amazing to be in the office, listening to the folks enjoying the village. They look for the bank, the lawyer, the town hall … and of course the older adult centre.
“The addition of the train a few years ago took some getting used to but we’ve grown to love its sound now too.”
As for me, I am one of those lingering as long as possible. I feel like a small child every time I stop to look. I always think they fit perfectly with the grand old family mansion that became the home of BOAA.
p.s. BOAA is holding a book-signing next Tuesday for Myrtle the Purple Turtle and me. I’m very much looking forward to it!