My husband Gerald and I have called Silver Heights our home for the past 25 years. We spent many hours with frozen toes, standing on snowbanks being entertained by our children playing hockey for the Silver Heights Stars.
Inside the walls of the community club, we shared laughs with our neighbours, many of whom over the years have turned into dear friends. But as with all things there comes a time for change, and that is what has happened to our old friend, Silver Heights Community Club. A shiny new building has been erected to combine two communities into one, with the new centre being named Sturgeon Heights Community Centre on Rita Street.
So, what better way to say goodbye to an old friend, than with a party. That is exactly what happened just a few short weeks ago, when approximately 80 of us former members of the club, decided to gather inside the weathered and tired looking walls. Hugs were shared, tears fell and a lot of crazy stories were told within the many pockets of people standing in the old bingo halls.
Most of our kids are now in their 20s, with a few recently buying their own homes in the same neighbourhood. Unfortunately, their children won’t be able to sling their hockey stick and skates over their shoulder and hike 10 minutes up Mount Royal Avenue to skate on the outdoor rink, as ours enjoyed doing. But that’s OK, just a short car ride away, they can hop out and make their own great memories at a new club and meet new friends.
I can’t say I won’t tear up the first few times I drive by the old Silver Heights Community Club once it is torn down and something new and shiny replaces it. But since I have already shed a couple of tears driving by the now torn down Silver Heights High School, I know that change can be positive and I look forward to the future in our close-knit neighbourhood.
Being a proud daughter of a military father and moving all over North America, too many times to remember, I love calling Silver Heights my home. So, even though at times we may not agree with change, when it happens we need to roll with it and turn negative into positive.
I hope there are many more parents who have the luxury of standing high atop a snowbank with coffee cups steaming and frozen toes wiggling in their boots,all the while cheering their child on to "skate faster," before going to warm up inside the shiny, new community centre.
Virginia Sperl is a Silver Heights-based writer.
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