LSCO Gym Closure 2024

LSCO Gyms will be closed in August for floor resurfacing. 

Gym 1: August 6 – September 2, 2024

Gym 2: August 6 – August 21, 2024

**** These dates are tentative and reopening dates are subject to change without notice based on the pace of the project****

LSCO July 2024 Construction

LSCO Parking Lot Access Moved Temporarily

Due to watermain renewal, regular access to the LSCO Parking Lot will be blocked June 24 – July 26 (approx.) During that time, the gate between LSCO & the City Hall Parking Lot will be open. You can access the LSCO Parking Lot through the City Hall Lot on Stafford Drive (look for the blue sign with an arrow).

Live updates from the City can be found here.

Millie Shewchuk

Millie Shewchuk was born on Fair Island, a small island community off of Newfoundland. She recalls life being rather simple there as they could only grow the basics like potatoes, cabbages, and carrots in their small garden. She attended primary school on the Island before the government moved families off the small islands around Newfoundland as winter services were limited when the sea froze over.

Millie’s dad was agreeable to such a move so his children could be more conveniently located to educational and medical services; she appreciates that he was progressive in this regard in order to create more opportunities for his children.

Their family home was moved to the mainland area called Centreville. Other families soon followed and it became a small new village. Her father was a seasonal cod fisherman, and a hunter during the winters. Her mother was a full time homemaker who also helped her father bring in the cod. As a child, Millie never felt the need to complain about their meals as she was fed a steady supply of fish and moose.  She has many positive memories about playing in the fresh outdoors with her 6 half-siblings and 6 full siblings

As a teenager looking for new adventures, Millie moved to the city of Gander, Newfoundland. She worked in hotels where she met her future ‘Prairie boy’ husband, Rick who was stationed there as part of his ice patrols, all over northern Canada. After they married, they lived in Yellowknife for over 4 years where Rick worked in the weather office. They later moved to Lethbridge in 1973 where Rick continued his work in the weather office here. Millie recalls that they arrived during a Chinook and acclimatized to Lethbridge very easily. Millie worked at Southland Nursing Home and St. Mike’s before she retired from paid employment about 10 years ago

They had 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. They lost their two adult daughters some years ago and she describes the experience as a “life changing nightmare” to live through. The rest of her family live close by in Calgary and Innisfail. Many of her extended family are still in Newfoundland. Millie tries to get back to Newfoundland every other year for a month or two. She loves to visit Fair Island, where many of her family members still have holiday ‘cabins’. She also has some extended family in St. John’s.

Millie is a dedicated LSCO food service volunteer and can regularly be found serving lunch meals; she believes that volunteering here is “good therapy” for her as it makes her “happy” and brings her “pleasure”. Her favourite meals are a Turkey dinner and Beef stew.

She enjoys watching golf and rooting for the Blue Jays. She also enjoys listening to easy and classical music, Irish folk music and jigs, she attributes her love for music to her very musical family. She spends the remainder of her time trying to improve her fitness with LSCO’s fitness programs and classes. Millie also likes to read non-fiction stories and history (e.g. WWII , the holocaust).

Millie believes that “what goes around, comes around” and that “family is everything”. She is most proud of her children and her adult granddaughter. As a result of her upbringing, she believes in “doing things for people”; she tries to give of herself and be “kind”. And she always believes, “the best is yet to come.”

Be sure to look for Millie’s friendly, happy face at the kitchen volunteers’ table in the dining room.

Mary Lancaster & Rosemary Howard

There are some famous pairs in the world: Holmes & Watson, Tweedledum & Tweedledee, Tom & Jerry etc. These pairs are instantly recognizable to us or among the circles or groups they frequent. The LSCO isn’t exempt from this experience as we have been blessed with our very own famous duo: “The Library Ladies”- Rosemary Howard and Mary Lancaster.

Acquaintances before they started volunteering together at the LSCO library about 5 years ago, the twosome have become good workmates ever since. They can always be found at the Library on Tuesdays from 9-12 and are especially glad that the activity around the Library has significantly increased ever since the Library was moved across the main hallway.

It surprises no one to learn that they are both voracious readers. However, neither belong to a Book Club as they cherish the freedom to choose their own reading material. Rosemary prefers biographies and autobiographies while Mary prefers murder mysteries and non-fiction.

The ‘Library Ladies’ always look forward to their weekly commitment to the Library as they enjoy tending to the donations of books, puzzles, DVDs, and CDs that come to the Library from members and friends of the LSCO.

Given the fact that they were “on the same page” when it came to their volunteerism and what they hoped to achieve for the library, they were eager to develop an organizational system which is currently in place. Fiction, Non-fiction, Auto/biographies, and Large Print books-these are the main categories that govern their catalogue. The Library’s September Free Book Giveaway refreshes the collection; and any funds put in the Donation Box are appreciated and go towards benefiting LSCO programs such as Meals on Wheels.

A former volunteer coordinator had the fantastic idea to involve this dynamic duo with ticket sales, raffles, and other special projects (e.g. Christmas dinners, Mother’s Day functions, St Pat’s Day pubs, BBQs). This has led to varying volunteering commitments that has given them the opportunity to promote ideas that enhance the organization.

Rosemary began her LSCO experience prior to her retirement, as she started taking Chair Yoga classes in 2016. She has been an LSCO member for 9 years. In 2017, she retired from her 44 year career at the University of Lethbridge as a Library Technician; she especially enjoyed the international aspect that inter-library loans brought to her role.

An “air force brat” from a family of 8 children, she was born in Duncan, B.C. Her family came to Taber in 1968 for her Dad’s career. She obtained a B.A. in History from the UofL in 1972. She thanks her Dad for promoting higher education and her lifelong interest in learning.

Mary began her LSCO membership 5 years ago; she was still working part-time, but taking Tai Chi and other fitness classes. She is a true Lethbridge native, born and raised and graduated from CCHS.

Mary and her husband have one daughter who lives and works in Oman. Her daughter is her greatest source of pride because she is a strong, independent woman. Mary always looks forward to her regular visits so she can ply her with the specialties of home. She spends her ‘off’ hours keeping very busy in her flower garden, doing various needlecrafts, puzzles, and watching TV/ Youtube.

Between the two, their favourite meals are roast beef dinners, popcorn, and a traditional turkey dinner. They both enjoy 50’s-70’s Rock and Roll music, but one prefers Country & Western, while the other prefers Classical music. If you are curious who might share your preferences, you will have to stop by the Library to meet the Ladies.

Mary describes Rosemary as being “open to do anything” and a great friend while Rosemary describes Mary as the “idea lady” with a great sense of humor. They make quite a pair and are a gift to LSCO, quietly going about their tasks that keep the organization running smoothly.

They would always like us to remember: “Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body”.

If you would be like to be the next member featured, please fill out this form.

Keith Sumner

Keith is currently the President of the LSCO Executive Board; He has been the President since 2017 when he first joined the Board. He was ‘nudged’ into the organization by Charlie Brown, a prior president of the organization.

Keith views the Board as planners for the long term goals of the organization. He believes that the LSCO is not just a “membership club”, but an organization that can and performs many roles for individuals in the community regardless of their membership status. This he believes is achieved with the variety of services the LSCO provides, be it Meals on Wheels, fitness programs & opportunities, etc.

He is a strong believer in “succession planning” as he does expect to turn the reins over to another member in due course. This is why he is doing his best to recruit new board members as much as possible.

Keith had a successful 37 year career in the Alberta Public Service with the Alberta Consumer and Corporate Affairs Ministry before he left paid employment 9 years ago. He describes his time with the Consumer Protection Legislation as “very satisfying”.

Keith is relatively ‘new’ to Lethbridge, having lived here for the past 29 years. He says that “Lethbridge has been good to me.” But Keith has also been good to this community. He has been able to contribute to the community in various ways. For example, he was a charter member of the local Dragon Boat Festival. Keith has also been involved with the Board of the South Country Treatment Centre. He also represented the Seniors sector in the City’s Economic Development efforts and found the experience to be very interesting and rewarding.

A favorite saying of Keith’s is “ The only real sin is not allowing a person to experience the consequences of their decisions.”

Keith enjoys ice cream and still savors the memories of his mother’s lemon meringue pie. He loves music from the 80’s and is an avid CBC listener. He prefers to read digitally, especially newspapers. He also spends his personal time exploring yoga and meditation.

Keith wants members to know that he is “approachable” and would appreciate being taken up on this if you see him around the Centre.

If you would be like to be the next member featured, please fill out this form.

Judy Holmes

As a typical retiree who tries to keep very active with a variety of commitments, Judy began her journey at LSCO when she signed up for Pound and Zumba. Classes she still enjoys when they fit into her busy schedule.

Judy’s father was an Austrian immigrant, while her mother’s family originated from Odessa. She was born in Taber and mostly grew up in Hays where she attended up to Grade 9.  She then moved on to Grade 10 in Vauxhall, and finished up her high school education in Lethbridge when her family moved again the following year. She has five siblings who were born in Saskatchewan, Medicine Hat and Taber.

Judy’s parents operated a radio show in Saskatchewan. This led her and her siblings to become very involved in music. She and two of them learnt to sing and play musical instruments from a very young age. She started competing in talent shows and became known as a successful ‘child’ singer. She fondly remembers the first song she ever performed publicly “Rye Whiskey”.

At the age of 6, she and her Dad’s accordion shot to the top spot at a talent show and won a monetary prize. By the age of 10, Judy was singing front and centre in a touring 4-person country music band; the band played in the Rolling Hills, Vauxhall, and Brooks areas. She really enjoyed this time of her life and is glad that she had the full support of her family to encourage her talent and passion. She recalls Saturday nights where family, neighbors, and friends would gather with their musical instruments and a great time would be had by all. She had hoped/thought that she would eventually go on to have a career in music but, life happened.

After Grade 11, Judy married Ken and they moved to Kitimat, where he worked as an electrician. They went on to live in Kamloops and Sparwood, where they started their family and had three daughters. They moved their family to Lethbridge where Ken worked for his Dad and eventually took over the business in 1990.

To Judy, having to juggle marriage, family, and becoming business owners meant a very hectic, but rewarding lifestyle. In 2001, they initiated Holmes Eco-Water and she feels good that this provided them the opportunity to hire reliable employees that were challenged in most other types of work. Judy retired from the business three years ago.

Always the active athlete, Judy played baseball and volleyball as a youngster. She and Ken were even involved in a family slow-pitch team for several years until their daughters’ activities took over. Judy and Ken are also avid curlers, they have twice been Provincial winners and they went to Canadian Nationals twice, once winning a bronze.

Judy still loves and enjoys all kinds of music and she always tries to make it a constant factor in her life. She has even been to the Los Angeles Opera production of ‘Evita’. Thus far, she has led one grandchild to music and he is helping her learn to read music. The family enjoys listening and singing along to old albums on the record player. She thoroughly enjoys karaoke, but hasn’t quite found the time yet to join the LSCO club. She still picks up her accordion and guitar to play for her own entertainment whenever she has the time.

According to Judy, she tries to remember that “life is short and to enjoy every moment!” She has been a volunteer at the LSCO Diner for about a year now and can be found there at least once per week doing food service. She also enjoys her volunteer fundraising work with the West Lethbridge Lions Club.

She and Ken love to travel to meet up with friends. Some of their favorite destinations are Mexico and Hawaii. Judy also enjoys reading, taking care of her four grandchildren, attending their sport events, and generally keeping busy.

She and Ken celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2023 and she is happy to report that they still enjoy each others’ company. Judy says she is most proud of her family, especially her four grandchildren.

A relatively new LSCO member, Judy is an accomplished addition to the cadre of its committed volunteers . Thanks Judy, and Welcome!

Heidi Brandt

Heidi Brandt is a very new member of LSCO. Still learning about all that LSCO offers, she is excited about carefully “getting her feet wet.” She currently volunteers at the Boutique and has joined the needlework group.

Born in Augsburg, Germany, she and her family immigrated to Canada in 1960. Her father was concerned about a possible third World War so he wanted to get his family away from it; Heidi was a young child, but she remembers the rough ocean waters as they traversed by ship. The family first went to Calgary, and then moved to Lethbridge in 1962. Her father ran a European meat and sausage shop in Lethbridge until the family moved to the Crowsnest Pass.

Heidi received all of her formal education in Canada and had to learn English when she first came. She had some difficulties with her elementary grades, a result of being physically and verbally bullied by other children; but fortunately, this diminished once she got to junior high school. Although she found her German heritage to be a burden in her younger years, she is proud to be of German descent now and is still fluent in the German language.

Heidi trained at Lethbridge College in Hospitality, Marketing, and Small Business. She has a wide range of employment experience including in the hotel, marketing, child care, and property management industry. She became very knowledgeable about Crowsnest Pass history as she enjoyed her job at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre very much. She is still interested in gainful employment, but only if it meets her interests and physical competencies. Heidi has lived in a variety of places in Western Canada and most recently returned to Lethbridge six months ago from Fort St. John, B.C and is quite happy to be back in Lethbridge.

Heidi has one daughter who is a social worker who also resides in Lethbridge. She says that her daughter has helped her learn to cook Canadian. She also has some extended family in Brooks. A woman of many talents and interests, Heidi enjoys scrapbooking and altering clothing. She also learned to do small renovation jobs from her father. She likes to read and loves animals; As a child, she thought that she might work with animals, but it never came to fruition for her. She also builds floral arrangements, especially from recyclable materials; she produced her own show in this field and would love to recreate something similar at LSCO. This writer saw photos of some of her creations and was very impressed. Heidi also enjoys cooking; she is very good at making tasty Danishes and Beef Rouladen with Rotcole. She also played sports, but is currently more interested in walking or light hiking. Heidi’s music preferences vary from the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, to Whitney Houston, George Strait, and the Rolling Stones.

Heidi’s most memorable learnings from her father were: “think before you speak” and “do not be quick to judge”. She believes
these lessons have held her in good stead. She is always open and willing to learn, but also feels that she might have some skills to share with other members. We gladly welcome Heidi to the LSCO, a friendly and warm person who feels comfortable talking with anyone!

If you would be like to be the next member featured, please fill out this form.

Gerald De Bow

Gerald “Gerry” De Bow was born in Moncton, New Brunswick into a very devout Baptist family. One of his earliest memories is hearing the sound of sirens “blowing all day” announcing the end of WWII, as a six year old. Gerry described an upbringing that completely insulated him within a Baptist environment.

He recalls favorable times at summer camp and also the times when he and his brother visited extended family on a farm. Gerry grew up with his maternal grandmother in his family’s home, and although she was not Baptist, he saw her as a great source of unconditional love and hugs.

At age 18, he attended Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Although it was a Baptist University, he was exposed to non-Baptist people and different types of mindsets. Although there was a church-abiding community at university, Gerry participated in more secular activities. He even played Piano regularly at the Kentville Legion.

Gerry got his BA degree, came ‘out west’ in the 60’s and got a job with the City of Edmonton Welfare Department . He found his time there very educational as he got to familiarize himself with people and their behaviors outside of his upbringing in the Baptist doctrine.

With support from his employer, he decided to upgrade his post secondary education Therefore, Gerry returned to Nova Scotia to attend the Maritime School of Social Work in Halifax, receiving his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Acadia University. In the 2nd year of his program, he did a 1 year practicum with two psychiatrists in a mental health clinic, where he gained the valuable experience of working within a professional team that practiced family therapy. There, Gerry realized that looking at the causes of behaviors was essential.

He returned to Edmonton to work for two more years in a family counselling type role. Then he decided to completely pivot in his career. This was the 1960’s after all. There was societal ‘chaos’ in that all things were becoming loud and to the surface: e.g. marijuana and other illicit drugs, the women’s movement, the Vietnam War, LGBTQ+ rights, racial issues, the Manson murders, man landed on the moon, Woodstock, etc. Some of these events prompted Gerry to decide to attend Law School at the University of Alberta in 1968.

Gerry married Shirley in 1966 and their three children were born in Edmonton. He finished his Law degree in 1971 and practiced for 12 years until 1984. He had a keen interest in a judicial role and he obtained his first placement as a Provincial Court Judge in Lethbridge. The role included criminal, family, youth, and civil courts. He acknowledges that this was a powerful role and he
tried to avoid the punitive aspect, while trying to understand what the people were going through; he strove to be objective and to avoid his “built-in prejudices”. He has found that he doesn’t miss the work, but he appreciates the effect it had on his view of the world and its people. He retired four years ago

Gerry has had the rich experience of backpacking through Europe and being exposed to many cultures, countries and ideas. He is now a widower and looks back fondly on his married life as extremely rewarding as they enjoyed so many of life’s experiences together. Gerry now enjoys spending his time learning how the internet and new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, can enhance day-to-day life; he says that he can be found online “24 hours a day”.

You can regularly find Gerry at the LSCO dining room having lunch and good conversations with other members.

If you would be like to be the next member featured, please fill out this form.

Edward Arinobu

If you are always awed by the beauty of the orchids and amaryllis blooms displayed at the entrance to the cafeteria, then you have Ed to thank for that. Best known as the LSCO’s volunteer “Green Thumb” gardener, he is the main reason the plants in the dining room atrium look so healthy.

Ed was born in B.C. to parents of Japanese descent, who were also born in Canada. He was raised in the Fraser Valley where his parents farmed strawberries and also had chickens.

This family of five children, the eldest two born before, were sent to an internment camp in Slocan, B.C. and were residents there from 1942-46 where he and one of his siblings were born; all of the family’s property was confiscated by the government. After the war, the family was exiled to Japan where the youngest of his siblings was born.

Ed returned to Canada in 1962 and briefly resided with an uncle and aunt. He then became a ‘houseboy’ for a Canadian family of non-Japanese descent in the Vancouver area for the next five years where he did household chores and childcare. He looks upon these years of his youth as relatively positive and says the female parent of this family was an “excellent influence” on him. He had to pay for his high school tuition, so the family he was living with/working for, allowed him to take paying summer jobs doing gardening. He attributes these experiences to his “green thumb”.

While in High School, he took English as a Second Language classes before he proceeded to the BC Institute of Technology. As a youth, Ed always had an interest in carpentry and construction thus he enrolled in the BCIT Building Technology program. After completing the program, he obtained employment in Winnipeg before he ended up moving back to Vancouver where he found a job.

This was where he married “Suni” and they decided to raise their family on the west coast. He worked for architectural and engineering firms as an ‘engineering technologist’ his whole adult life before he retired from paid work about 12 years ago. Ed and Suni then moved to southern Alberta in 2011 to be closer to Suni’s mother.

For a period of time, he and Suni were involved in the Lethbridge Japanese Canadian Christian Fellowship where they did traditional churchwork and took leadership roles until it folded. They have since become active at the Evangelical Free Church volunteering as ‘lay servants’. Ed also volunteers at the Soup Kitchen with his church.

He defines himself as a Christian and tries to act accordingly. He enjoys interacting with people and says he might have changed his career to the human service field, if he had had the opportunity. He is also passionate about playing a part in seeking solutions to the ‘houseless’ crisis in Lethbridge.

He enjoys playing table tennis and also likes swimming. He also likes cooking and tries not to tie himself down to the cuisine of any specific ethnicity. He also enjoys woodworking. He is not a musician, but he greatly enjoys listening to Classical music and is a big fan of the Lethbridge Symphony. Ed also has a small greenhouse where he starts seedlings and tries his hand at vegetable gardening.

The most significant book he recently read was the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. The concepts of truth and reconciliation really inspired him as it especially made him ponder on its contrasts to the notion of revenge.

Ed strikes this writer as a thoughtful, thinking man. He seems like the plants he cares for, that is, given the proper resources, he continues to grow and contribute with a full heart.

If you happen to see Ed quietly carrying watering cans to the plants in the atrium, please acknowledge his volunteerism, it will
nourish you and him.

Thanks Ed!

If you would be like to be the next member featured, please fill out this form.

Coralee Palmer

A reluctant interviewee for this column who reveals much more to her person under closer scrutiny, Coralee Palmer has been a proud member of LSCO since 2017.

She credits her daughter for approaching her with the idea of checking out LSCO to see what it has to offer.

The eldest of 3 daughters, Coralee was born in Peterborough, Ontario where her mother and sisters still reside to this day. Always keen to maintain her familial bonds, she keeps in regular contact with them and tries
to go out there twice a year.

She retired in 2010 while her husband, Gary retired in 2017. They then moved from Bragg Creek to be nearer to her daughter’s family and have lived in West Lethbridge ever since.

Coralee met Gary while they were in college where she completed a Law & Security diploma. She once harbored a dream of becoming a police officer but unfortunately, did not meet the height requirements of the role at the time. She then began a career with the Customs Agency at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario. She paints a humorous picture of her time at the Ambassador Bridge such as the times when they had to raise their voices and say, “Halt in the name of the Queen” when people from Detroit would attempt to cross the border without stopping. She also worked for the Customs Agency at Sarnia, Ontario and had a brief career as a postal carrier for two years in
Peterborough.

Due to Gary’s employment with Imperial Oil, they moved ‘out west’ to Fernie in 1988 where she then took up employment at the Roosville Border Crossing at Grasmere, B.C. Thanks to Gary’s job, the family also lived in Switzerland for two years. They used this opportunity to travel through Europe and other continents e.g. Germany, Czechoslovakia, Liechtenstein, Egypt, etc.

She reminisces on the seven times she visited Paris because that was always the top destination for her visiting friends. She also has a great story about adolescent nephews visiting in Heidelberg and coming across a ‘photo shoot’.(I believe she might
be willing to share if you politely ask her about it when you run into her) Gary eventually got transferred to Calgary, where Coralee had an additional 25 year career spanning the Canada Customs district office, the postal plant, and the airport before she retired.

She shares that she very much enjoyed her time working due to the variety of people she always came across, and “it was never boring.”

They lived in Bragg Creek with their two children that they had in Peterborough and Oshawa for 22 years, raising their family and commuting to Calgary. Sadly, Coralee and Gary lost their 18 year old son Josh in a Motor Vehicle Accident twenty-two years ago, as he was travelling from work with a friend. Animated and open to speaking about him; She surmises that he is still ‘present’ in their lives and always will be.

Coralee’s daughter Lindsey has been in Lethbridge since 2002, where she pursued her post secondary education at the college
and university before settling down and starting a family. Coralee is blessed with two grandchildren, Jacob and Emily. She shares that they were a main part of her and Gary’s decision to move to Lethbridge after their retirement.

Coralee is an avid fan of music from the 60’s-80’s but she considers Country as her favourite genre. She also enjoys walking her dog, reading, cooking and/or baking, and a bit of spice gardening. Her comfort food favorite is “potato chips”. Coralee and Emily are regular volunteers at the Last Chance Cat Resort. Coralee says she does ‘gruntwork’, but is pleased to be making a difference for so many cats in a clean environment that operates solely on donations.

Coralee believes that “what goes around, comes around”. She shares that she is sometimes teased for being “Saint Coralee”, but she takes it all in stride. She strikes one as an animated, approachable, and kind individual who does whatever she can for others. She revealed that she is most proud of her family: husband, children and grandchildren.

Coralee utilizes LSCO for all kinds of fitness programs and usually participates in at least one class per day. Additionally, she can be found in the kitchen regularly doing dishes, or any tasting when needed, every Thursday where you can stop by to say “Hi” and “Thanks for your volunteerism !”

If you would be like to be the next member featured, please fill out this form.