Simon Bergmann

Simon Bergmann

Badminton club marks centennial

One of the oldest nonprofit societies in the province, the Summerland Athletic Club, will celebrate its 100th birthday next month.

The club, which now operates the badminton hall at the corner of Wharton Street and Prairie Valley Road, was incorporated on July 20,1911 as the Summerland Lawn Tennis Club.

Its incorporation number was S-268.

Danny Evanishen, president of the club, said it has gone through numerous changes since it began.

Initially, the club’s focus was on tennis, but later it changed to include badminton as well.

The present building was constructed in 1934 and has housed the club since that time.

Recently, when the badminton club in Penticton closed, the members of that club joined the Summerland members. At that time, the Penticton club brought $70,000 to the Summerland club.

The money was used for upgrades and renovations to the building.

Over the past year, the club has started a junior program for players from Grade 9 to Grade 12. The Summerland Credit Union has provided $500 to start this program.

The youth program now has eight students a day from Summerland Secondary School and eight students a day once a week from the Summerland Asset Development Initiative.

Gerry Dennis, Phil Soo and Jean Evanishen are working as coaches.

In addition to the youth program, the club is continuing its adult level program, with players into their 80s still active.

To celebrate the club’s centennial, members have organized a dinner and dance which will be held March 12 at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church Hall. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 and the dance from 8 p.m. until midnight.

Evanishen said the evening will include raffles and silent auction items.

Vic’s Dance Band from Kelowna will provide the music for the dance.