Olive Hannah and her daughter Joan enjoy a turkey dinner at First United Church on Christmas Day.

Comfort food and good company

Volunteers at First United Church prepared a holiday feast on Christmas Day for more than 200 people.

One of White Rock’s strongest holiday traditions is entering its third decade following the annual Community Christmas Day Dinner at First United Church on Dec. 25.

In the early 1980s the late George Bryant, long-time gardener and parks keeper for the city –  and other local movers and shakers – decided that no matter what the individual circumstances, there was no reason for any one to be alone or lonely on Christmas Day, particularly in a community as comfortable and rich in spirit as White Rock.

Now, each year, the volunteer-organized, volunteer run free event provides a dose of Christmas good fellowship for participants and servers alike, with help from generous individual sponsors and service organizations.

Co-organizer and co-founder Chip Barrett said this year’s event measured up in all regards, with Chef Leslie Maudsley dishing up a total of 262 turkey dinners with all the trimmings to dinner guests and volunteer servers and facilitators.

“We set tables for 196, but she ended up serving 209 guests – I don’t know how that worked out,” Barrett said. “It was a wonderful dinner, as always.”

Once again fulfilling the role of Santa he inherited from Bryant was MLA Gordon Hogg. “Gordon was right on form, as usual, although he was a somewhat skinnier Santa this year,” Barrett added.

Also adding to the good cheer were poinsettias and goodie bags, photos with Santa, music by pianist Christine Dibble, traditional singalongs, the White Rock Youth Ambassadors, and Rev. Joan McMurtry’s retelling of the Christmas story.

“With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, there was a also a 10:30 a.m. service, so parking was a little tricky, but it all worked out well,” Barrett said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supreme Court upholds White Rock council decision on Lady Alexandra development

Planned 12-storey highrise on lower Johnston Road was stalled in 2018

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

MARCH 31: Five more in B.C. have died due to COVID-19

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

No final high school game for Surrey all-stars; six scholarship winners named

COVID-19 forces cancellation of all-star games for boys and girls at Enver Creek gym April 3

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read

l -->