When Linda Darbey became a member of the South Granville Seniors Centre in 2004, she promptly became a volunteer as well — her first-ever volunteer experience. It wasn’t lack of interest that held her back until retirement, she explains, it was lack of consistent availability. “I’d always worked shifts,” she says, looking back on a 36-year career with B.C. Telephone that began as an operator and ended in management.
Having sampled volunteerism, Linda took to it with enthusiasm. A veteran member of our Board of Directors (currently serving as Secretary), she also staffs the reception desk Wednesday mornings, helps set up and serve lunch on Thursdays, and sets up and then takes part in the Spontaneous Art group on Fridays.
What she does also helps explain why she does it. “I get to use existing skills and follow up on old interests,” she says. As receptionist, she draws on workplace administrative skills (and her experience as a telephone operator!); her lunch and art-group roles allow her to indulge her love of “puttering in a kitchen” and expressing her creativity. Linda takes a moment, opens a little watercolour sketchbook she kept for years, shows some of the skillful drawings with their clever, punning titles.
“A friend first brought me here, back in 2004, and I felt comfortable right away,” she says. “Now this Centre has become family for me.”
Profile by Penny Williams, 15 August 2018