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Arthur seniors fear loss of popular meeting spot

Lease on Arthur's Senior Citizen Hall, which has provided a gathering and activity spot for seniors for 63 years, is set to expire
The Senior Citizen Hall in Arthur.

KENILWORTH — Some Arthur seniors are concerned they could lose their meeting space if the lease at the Arthur Senior Citizen Hall isn't renewed.

They delegated at Wellington North council Monday. The municipality owns the hall.

Concerned citizen and senior Bill Dennis explained how this problem emerged.

“We received a voice message on Feb. 2 saying that there was no option to renew the lease,” Dennis said.

Dennis went on to explain why local seniors need the hall and what they use it for.

“The seniors’ hall keeps the seniors active with all of our activities. During the week we play bridge, euchre, cribbage, bid euchre and shuffleboard,” Dennis said.

This has been a seniors’ hall for 63 years.

Joyce Culp noted that "many volunteer hours " went into restoring the building.

Culp also talked about how it was the local seniors who used and cared for the hall.

“If the hall, that is now 144 years old, could talk we would likely thank Arthur’s energetic seniors who are loving and kind and giving that it has had a new lease on life,” Culp said.

Vivien MacDonald gave a brief history lesson of the space.

“It was funded by the local people. The reason it was built was to be a drill hall for a defense against the Fenians who were Irish nationals coming through the States to Canada,” MacDonald said.

Mayor Andy Lennox suggested having further discussions to hopefully find a solution.

“The lease is good until the end of the year for sure. So, I mean, it’s time to have some discussion. There is clearly an interest in continuing with the use of that building so we can get into some discussion about how to make that happen and what the terms of that lease ought to be for if the group wants to continue to lease the building,” Lennox said.

Jesse Gault is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.