King's Banquet volunteers – including Christine Lucovic (front) and Bernice Jangula (back) – serve Christmas dinner to soup-kitchen guests Tuesday.

Concerns for White Rock soup kitchen simmer

More than 100 guests enjoyed the King's Banquet Christmas Dinner, held Tuesday for the 13th year

A year-round tradition of helping continued with a festive flare at Star of the Sea Hall in White Rock’s Five Corners Tuesday, as doors opened on the 13th annual King’s Banquet Soup Kitchen Christmas dinner.

More than a dozen volunteers, many in holiday hats, prepared and served food and holiday cheer to 100-plus appreciative diners.

“It went very, very well,” Carolyn Wharton, leader of the Star of the Sea outreach ministry that organizes the weekly dinners, Helpers of St. Anne, said Wednesday. “We are so pleased to be able to do this for the 13th year.”

In addition to a feast of stuffed turkey roast, vegetables, dessert and more, the occasion included entertainment by an ensemble of singers, camaraderie and an opportunity for guests to select a gift from a table of cosy handmade toques and scarves, as well as sundry hygiene items.

Wharton said many of those who enjoyed the fare were familiar faces – including one man who is only seen at the Christmas dinner. But she noted that attendance was down from previous years, when as many as 140 people have arrived from as far away as New Westminster to partake in the meal. The drop, she said, can be traced to May’s fire in the Five Corners district.

The early-morning blaze caused extensive damage to the adjacent Ocean Ridge condominium complex, and forced a nearly two-month hiatus on the soup kitchen’s weekly dinners, due to water damage at the hall.

While attendance had grown to about 135 people before the fire, Wharton said it has fluctuated between 85 and 100 in the months since.

“After the fire, it took quite a while before people got the word we were back and open again,” she said. “There were some that were coming before that never did come back.”

The next dilemma facing the soup kitchen is where it will be held following the anticipated sale of the parish property.

In July, church officials confirmed that plans are in the works to dispose of the White Rock site – as well as that of the Holy Cross Church in Crescent Beach – to facilitate the expansion of the Good Shepherd complex in South Surrey.

Wharton said at the Christmas dinner that while the timeline for the project is still unclear, the search for short-term space to host the soup kitchen during construction will be a focus in the new year.

“We don’t know when anything’s going to start, because the property hasn’t been sold yet,” she said. “We just know… for the short-term, we will be out of a home.”

As Wharton took in the scene of the Christmas dinner Tuesday, she could imagine the impact that loss of the soup kitchen would have.

“We sure don’t want to have to take a hiatus from this for a year-and-a-half,” she said. “That would be dreadful.”

The King’s Banquet dinners resume Jan. 10. Doors open at 3:45 p.m. at 15262 Pacific Ave.; dinner will be served from 4-6 p.m.

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP surround Cloverdale residence, evacuate neighbourhood after reports of shots fired

Surrounding neighbourhood evacuated, street closed in both directions

Swansong Ride2Survive raises $1M-plus in single-day cycle from Kelowna to Delta

Saturday’s ride was the 15th and final fundraiser of its kind for North Delta-based charity event

Dominion Day celebrations set for South Surrey’s historic Stewart Farm

Old-fashioned fun and games run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 29

It’s the start of a busy summer on the Peninsula

Activities and entertainment abound in July and August

Legacy of South Surrey rugby player comes ‘full-circle’

Joah Atkinson died in a Calgary crosswalk 16 years ago, but her memory remains strong

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Thieves steal tents from B.C. school, Grade 7 camping trip happens anyway

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

‘I feel free’ says mother of BC murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

‘Predatory’ suspect sought after exposing himself on SkyTrain

Man had been riding the trains for about an hour between Main Street and Edmonds stations

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Woman found after absence from forensic psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam

Barbara Tom was reported on an unauthorized absence from Brookside Treatment Centre

Most Read

l -->