Naramata Centres’ 70 year history was celebrated with much gratitude, Saturday, June 23rd. The day was replete with “Naramata magic” and activities designed to encourage reflection on the many ways the Centre has creatively nurtured us through the experience of community; deepening our faith and nudging us to make a difference in the world. We celebrated the journey we have travelled, and engaged in activities to optimistically focus our attention towards the future.
Since its official opening in November 1948, Naramata Centre has served people of all generations; those trusting, doubting, seeking and knowing. From its beginnings as a United Church Christian Leadership Centre for lay people, programming at the Centre has evolved to reflect the challenges of changing times. Naramata Centre continues to be an inclusive, safe, welcoming place to connect and deepen in mind, body and spirit, and this was evident throughout our day of celebration.
The 70th Celebration: The 70th Anniversary Committee (Barb Hatfield, Linda Hatfield, Jane Ritchie and Jane Sanden) offered many activities to creatively engage us in reflecting on our past and focussing on the future. Typical of traditional Centre activities, we were provided lots of opportunities to visit with friends both old and new, and to sink into that warm feeling of community which is so much a part of the Naramata experience.
Starting in the morning with a long line of participants stretching across Columbia lawn chronologically organized by the year they first came to Naramata Centre, we soon drew together into a large circle of community, seeking to learn more about each other’s experience at the Centre over the years.
Columbia Hall was the gathering place for many interactive activities, which included:
- · A Drive through the Decades: There were seven tables (1950s to 2010’s) covered in memorabilia from each decade. People enjoyed sharing stories, adding their own memorabilia/artifacts and, marking significant events and the place on the “road map” where they joined the journey through the 70 years.·
- Rooted in the Past- Reaching for the Future: A large apple tree painted by Jane Ritchie came to life covered with paper apples on which participants wrote ways they had grown or the gifts/nourishment they had received from the Centre over the years.