Seniors Activity Centre manager Glenda Winger was happy to see familiar faces when the centre hosted a coffee house in the parking lot on Monday, July 6. Winger loves interacting with seniors, she said. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

HOMETOWN: Care and respect a motto to live by

Glenda Winger

Williams Lake Seniors Activity Centre manager Glenda Winger loves her job.

“I started nine years ago this August and I’ve enjoyed pretty much every day of work,” she said Monday while the centre hosted its first parking lot coffee house since COVID-19 shuttered the centre in mid-March.

“I love learning from the seniors. I love meeting with the seniors. It’s a comfortable group of people to be around on a daily basis.”

When the centre is open she is kept very busy with planning and overseeing activities. She’s also stopped in regularly to make sure everything was OK during the closure.

Read more: Seniors Activity Centre closed for 30 days in Williams Lake due to COVID-19 concerns

Winger has held a variety of jobs. She worked as a preschool teacher, a forklift operator, in offices and stores.

“I changed my jobs quite regularly because of needing more of a challenge,” she said.

“This job at the Seniors Activity Centre provides me with a challenge every single day.”

Her dad, Jim Mowrey, always said he hoped when he became a senior that people would look after him and care for him and treat him with respect as he was growing older, she recalled.

“I believe in that motto. We have to treat other people with respect and do what we can to do to help them.”

Winger has lived in Williams Lake since she was eight months old.

“My dad was originally a school teacher in the district. He taught at Horsefly, Wildwood, Marie Sharpe when it was the high school originally and then he taught at Chilcotin Road Elementary School, retired and opened up BellE-Acres Golf Course.”

She has an older brother in Williams Lake who works in the forest industry and a younger brother who lives in Quesnel and works in the mining industry.

When she’s not working, she enjoys going to the family cabin at Keithley Creek north of Likely.

The cabin is right on the creek and they can access Cariboo Lake.

It was originally her mother-in-law’s cabin and after she passed away, Winger’s husband Vern and his brother took over ownership.

“We go ATVing, we like to do yard work out there the same as a home because we like to have it looking pristine and keep the bugs down,” Winger explained.

They go to the cabin in the winter between Christmas and New Year’s and have even spent Christmas there.

“My husband and my son are avid skidooers and we snowshoe. We haven’t got into fishing yet.”

Their son David works with Vern, who has an irrigation business, and their daughter Alicia works for a vet clinic in Kamloops.

Winger also loves to knit, crochets and sew.

When city council approved the parking lot coffee house, she was ecstatic.

Read more: Williams Lake Seniors Activity Centre to host parking lot coffee houses beginning July 6

“It seems like forever since we closed,” she said at the time. “I miss everyone and the board has been super supportive in helping contact members and checking in with them. You don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s not there.”

During the coffee house Monday, she could not stop smiling and it was apparent that her love for the seniors was mutual as one person after another came up to say ‘hello’ to her.

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