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President's Message

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

It’s been a busy and encouraging month! 

We welcomed our employee Samantha Norberg as the OSA Administrator, and now have a virtual office, with all our important documents in the GSuite program, available to all who need access. She has got right into the job of organizing us, our programs and policies and procedures very quickly. 

At the same time, we now have a phone number, email address and informative webpage (as well as a Facebook presence) for streamlined communications with all our members, associates and contacts. 

Sheila Foster has joined us as director of Marketing & Communications which has also contributed to better links between us all and in the community.

We thank Peggy Churchward for her excellent service as our original Treasurer, getting our financial affairs in order and contributing much to our board. Although in Sundre for the summer, we look forward to continued benefit from her experience and contributions to our group’s future.

Peggy is succeeded by Shelley Goldstein, a professional bookkeeper, who has generously stepped up to fill the ever-increasing duties of that role. Monitoring and accounting for the various grant monies we administer is a complex and demanding task, along with payroll responsibilities for an employee.

We continue to build on responding to those contacts and requests that have come in as a result of our postcard drop and lawn signs throughout Oakridge, especially with technical assistance.

We're also seeing ever-increasing interest and use of the webpage, which has a secure database of members and contacts. This yields a very useful batch of solid data and allows us instant access to information and the ability to react quickly to member needs. We are always seeking better ways to encourage Facebook visitors to become OSA members.

The dream of Oakridge Community Garden has become a beautiful new reality in our neighbourhood. A team of incredibly hard-working volunteers have created an oasis of green and growing edibles right behind the Community Centre. Drop by and admire the results of all their hard work. Learn about it also through their own Facebook page

We are already planning for post-Covid events and activities that we can run and organize safely to tweak the interest of members, and continue programs that have already been successful. Let us know what you would like to see us offer in future.

July 1st we will take to the streets with a mobile message. Our OSA (Foster’s) RV, draped with Canadian flags and OSA signs, will tour Oakridge. Members will safely follow alongside on foot, on bikes or in cars to hand out postcards and engage with the community. Join us there for a face-masked face-to-face celebration! As always details on the webpage.

Samantha’s work on building our volunteer system and base, with help from Calgary Seniors, is critical to all phases of our operation especially in reaching our more vulnerable senior neighbours. Potentially we have at least another 500 seniors who will stay in Oakridge and need our planned services. Our volunteers are building contacts with preferred service providers to further this aim, especially with regards to our multi-family ambitions. 

2020 marks Oakridge’s 50th Anniversary and we are planning special events, and also joint celebrations with the Oakridge Community Association.

I continue to be very active in external relations with a wide range of similar and related organizations through Calgary Seniors Housing Forum Society and the Sharing Network. The major dedicated seniors’ facilities are a great resource for solving operational issues.

Our relationship with the University of Calgary has the potential to increase with participation in a November forum on Aging headed by Professor Larry Katz in the Faculty of Kinesiology. 

My contacts with Bryce Starlight of Tsuut'ina First Nation on a major Canderel development, has the potential for a Zoom virtual tour, perhaps in late July.

The board is assembling an Advisory Committee of active volunteers and service providers to help plan and run varied programs and services for our members. We are always looking for new board members and leaders to govern our increasing and well-funded organization. 

With any future planning for events, our primary aim will be to keep us all safe and well, with renewed concentration on keeping this area of SW Calgary relatively untouched by Covid-19

A big thank you to all our volunteers helping us flourish and grow.

Stay Safe! Barry Pendergast

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