National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC)
National Council of Jewish Women of Canada (NCJWC) is a voluntary women’s organization established in 1897, in the spirit of Judaism. NCJWC is dedicated to furthering human welfare in the Jewish and general communities locally, nationally and internationally. Through an integrated program of education, service and social action, NCJWC provides and stimulates as well as educates the individual and the community.
National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Winnipeg Section was established in 1926 and began its work by assisting in the integration and settlement of immigrants to Winnipeg.
The Golden Age Club was established on March 16, 1949 and was the first senior citizen’s drop-in centre in Canada. It opened in the basement of the Hebrew Sick Benefit Hall located on Selkirk Avenue, next to Gunn’s Bakery. The club’s purpose was to offer a meeting place where seniors could mingle with their contemporaries and take part in stimulating programs. Refreshments were served.
In 1965, NCJWC, Winnipeg purchased a building at 410 Pritchard Avenue which became Council House for the Golden Age Club. The building continued as a Monday to Thursday drop-in centre serving the needs of seniors by providing programs and outreach and social services.
By 1983 this property had outlived its usefulness. Temporary space was rented at 1720 Main Street until the property at 1588 Main Street and Smithfield Avenue was purchased in 1986. NCJWC, Winnipeg Section fundraised and developed this former Firestone Tire Store into the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre (GSCLC). The building was completely renovated and officially opened in 1989. The facility expanded its programming and offered social, education and recreational programs for those 55 and over. Besides a large multi-use auditorium, there are meeting and board rooms, offices, and arts and crafts area, as well as a fully equipped kosher kitchen. This kosher kitchen provided and still provides Kosher Meals on Wheels as well as kosher catering in-house as well as take-out.
The Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre continues today, 70 years after its humble beginnings as the Golden Age Club on Selkirk Avenue. The GSCLC has its own board of directors made up mainly of members of the centre. NCJWC, Winnipeg Section sold the building to the GSCLC a few years ago and now they operate the program and the building independently.