411 Seniors Centre Society works toward an inclusive community of informed and connected seniors in the Lower Mainland.
411 Seniors Centre Society provides senior-led programs and services that mobilizes seniors’ diverse strengths, talents, interests and expertise to the benefit of fellow seniors and the community at large, and in collaboration with like-minded organizations.
History of 411
For over 40 years, the 411 Seniors Centre Society has been dedicated to the well-being of those aged 55 and older. It is a community hub where people meet, socialize, organize around issues important to seniors.
Since 2015, we have been temporarily located on the 7th floor of 333 Terminal Avenue. While space limitations limit some programming, the centre has remained vibrant and active with a full set of advocacy, education and social programs.
Plans are now actively underway for 411 to move to Cedar Cottage/Fraserview, at Fraser and 19th Avenue – another vibrant Vancouver neighbourhood easily accessible by bus. Watch this site for ongoing news about the move scheduled for 2020. Check out the ongoing programs including services and activities described on this website.
Board of Directors
Stuart joined the board in 2013. He served as President of the society from 2014 to 2018. Stuart is and has been closely involved in planning for the new facility for 411, and currently chairs the Constitution and Governance Committees.
Stuart is a long time Vancouver resident and an accomplished non-profit and association administrator. His strengths include expertise in policy, research, and program development.
Stuart’s work has encompassed being Constituency Assistant to a number of MLA’s, Executive Director of the BC Association of Social Workers, and Deputy Executive Director at Westminster Community Legal Services Society. He is a respected teacher and supervisor and recognized for his many years spent in the field of social work.
In addition to 411, Stuart volunteers in administrative support to Ballet BC. His past volunteer activities include chairing the Law Reform Committee of the BC Human Rights Coalition; membership of the Community Liaison Group for the Mount Pleasant Community Plan; and cochairing a committee reviewing the Code of Ethics for social workers in BC. He has made presentations at colleges, universities and conferences in Canada, the USA and the UK on a variety of issues related to social work and organizational development. Stuart served for four years as a member of the B.C. Seniors Advocate’s Council of Advisors.
Patsy joined the Board in 2013. She is the board Secretary and representative for the Information & Referral Program and participates on Seniors Issues and Nominations Committees. As an Information and Referral Volunteer at the 'Centre, she assists fellow seniors in navigating, accessing government and community ‘systems’ benefits & resources.
As a Member, Patsy is particularly dedicated to fellow seniors to recognize & acknowledge their own strengths, navigate and access positive and critical enhancements to their life & well-being in a constantly changing/evolving world. She'd like to continue to actively participate in reaching the Members' immediate goals – becoming “Seniors Connected” and entering the real or virtual doors to a new, vitally active Centre.
Willem Haan was born in the Netherlands April 15, 1949. He has been self-employed most of his adult life. He was the owner of Black & Wit. Interior Design Studio specializing in antiques, stationery, and oddities. He owned WH Painting Wallpaper, est. 1988, which specialized in painting and finishes.
Willem was a Board Director at Strathcona Community Centre for 7 years. He has also been on committees with CCEC Credit Union, specifically the loans and mortgages committee and investments committee and is currently on the approval committee for the Vancouver Rent Bank. Willem sits on the 411s’ Fundraising Committee.
Jeannie Kamins has been an artist for over 40 years and a social justice activist her whole life. From fighting for “Black Power” in the 60’s for Women’s equality and Peace in the 70’s. Fearing incarceration, she decided to fight the good fight through her art. Believing that art is a language, she has put together national exhibitions on censorship and provincial exhibitions by women. Her own work is predominantly political covering all political issues from sexual abuse to the environment. Recent work has been about depleted uranium through weaponry and its spread throughout the earth by the wind.
When asked what she is doing now at nearly 80 she responds, “still marching”. Jeannie has been on the Board of 411 Seniors Centre Society for the past year and is one of two volunteers, plus Monica and Mariko, who put out a Newsletter for 411 members during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Dr. V. Setty Pendakur is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia, School of Community and Regional Planning. He taught at UBC for over 30 years, has worked in more than 30 countries as a Transportation Policy Advisor for international agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, The UNDP, Economic Commission for Africa, and the World Bank.
Currently he serves as a Senior Policy Advisor to the State Council of China and the Government of Singapore. He has published extensively in scholarly journals all over the world. He also serves as Honorary Professor at the Management School of China National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of China and of the USA.
Over the past many years, he has been a Vancouver City Councillor and Deputy Mayor as well as the Director of Metro Vancouver. He has served on several Boards including the PNE, Vancouver Board of Variance, Vancouver City Planning Commission, BC Real Estate Foundation (13 years of which 3 years as President), and the BC Transit Authority.
Among the community Boards he has served are United way of Greater Vancouver (6 years and 3 years as Chair of the New Building Committee), Round House Community Centre Board (13 years of which, 5 years a President), Association of Neighborhood Houses (10 years of which 3 years as President) and the Alexandra Housing Society (6 years of which 3 years as President).
He currently serves on the Boards of Immigrant Services Society of BC, Western Theatre Conspiracy Society, Alexandra Foundation (President), Seniors Centre Building Committee of the Akali Singh Sikh Temple (Chair) and the Facilities Committee of the 411 Seniors Society.
Marion Pollack is a retired postal worker and a long-time activist with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). She has held Union positions at the Local, Regional, and National level. She was recently elected to be a retiree representative on her pension plan.
She has a keen interest in women’s issues and continues to work for the full economic, social, and political equality of all women. She is a former Board member and a past President of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF).
Currently, she is the 411 Board President and an Information and Referral volunteer. She also participates in the new facility, program, personnel, and seniors’ issues committees. She is inspired by the dedication, spirit, and tenacity of the Board, staff, and members of 411.
Kanwarjit (Kan) Sandhu
Kanwarjit was born and raised in Punjab, India. After finishing university, he left India to travel the world. He travelled to places such as Singapore, Australia, and eventually settled in the UK. After living there for a several years, he decided to migrate to Canada and then got married. He raised two girls in Richmond and after 36 years of service as a bank manager, he is now retired.
Kan’s life experiences have taught him to deal with many difficult issues such as racism, discrimination, being an ethnic minority, and now dealing with senior issues. Being retired has afforded him the chance to give back to the community that provided him with so many opportunities.
Kan is very active in the community and has participated in various workshops over the years. Kan has recently been appointed to the Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee by the City of Richmond.
He has been on the Board of Directors for Richmond Multicultural Community Services (RMCS) in various capacities such as President, Vice President and Secretary. This society deals with settlement and seniors’ issues. He actively participates in their seniors’ program that involves yoga, healthy eating, and dealing with various senior’s issues. He is also on the board for the Indo Canadian Business Association (ICBA) and chairs the Scholarship Committee to help students be able to fund their university education.
His involvement with various workshops has created fruitful discussions on how to deal with real and living issues in our society. Such workshops include Balance between Security, Human Rights and Accountability at the Justice Institute of B., mental health issues seminars at SFU, Diversity in Policing Conference at the Justice Institute of BC.
Kan was also involved with the National Association of Canadian of Origins (NACOI) and was elected as President of the BC Chapter and Secretary at the National Level. This organization facilitated regional and national conferences and liaised between provincial and federal government officials.
Kan is a member of the 411 Finance Committee.
Carol Irene Weis
Carol Irene joined the 411 Seniors Centre Society as a member and 411's yoga teacher in 2014. She was appointed to serve on the 411 Board of Directors in May 2020. She moved to Vancouver from Montreal in 1996, bringing all her experiences of working internationally as a Personal and Professional Development Consultant/Trainer and Director. Carol Irene became a Canadian Citizen in 1993.
Carol Irene's life as a wife, mother of 6 children, grandmother of 5, all through the years being an active school and community volunteer and leader, has been richly filled by interacting with people at all levels of society, and diversity. She was actively working for ethical business practices, equal rights and opportunities. She worked in the Civil Rights Movement, the Peace Movement in the United States, the war on poverty and hunger, and was Vice President of a local chapter of the National Organization of Women. She sat on various boards and committees in all of the cities she lived in, and is currently on the Membership Committee of WISHs Housing Co-Op.
Her great passion, besides her love for her family, is to support seniors achieving good health in body, mind, and spirit. Her last 20 years have been spent teaching adults and seniors DRU Yoga, an effective, flowing yoga, here at 411 Senior Centre, senior residences, and public adult classes. She is a dedicated promoter of Lifelong Learning and looks forward to serving on the Board of 411 Seniors Centre Society for the next two years. She has agreed to serve on the Nominating Committee, Finance Committee, and the Fundraising Committee.
Greetings, Fellow Seniors. I am a member of 411 Seniors Centre Society, in good standing since 2013. As a member of 411, I have participated in the Book Club since its inception. I have, for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, been a volunteer tax preparer in the CVITP program. As well, I have attended numerous workshops and other presentations, with a special interest in poverty and housing issues, especially for single seniors.
I hold an undergraduate degree in Sociology, as well as a Certificate in Financial Management from BCIT (2006). In 2013, I retired from my last paid employment. For 19 years I worked as a Financial Assistance Worker with the Ministry of Social Development, the last 10 years on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Previously, I worked with women in the corrections system, working toward positive community reintegration.
As a volunteer, I have served at various times as a crisis line volunteer for WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women), a support and trainer for the Buddy Program in the early days of AIDS Vancouver and have until recently been a reader for a disabled friend. I served on the founding Board of New Page Society.
I have recently moved to the Lower Sunshine Coast, an easy commute to Vancouver. As a healthy active senior, I plan to continue to be involved in support and advocacy.
Gwen is the chair of the Finance Committee and Treasurer for the 411 Seniors Society.
Mohinder was first appointment as a director by the Board of 411 in 2011 and is currently the 2nd Vice President. He is a member of the Governance/Constitution Committee, having previously served on Finance, Personnel, Nominating and Strategic Planning Committees.
Mohinder has dedicated his life in Canada to the well-being of immigrants and visible minorities, and to a just society in which all are welcome. He has worked in the area of race relations, immigrant services, and cultural and social policy development and served as a member of the Convention Refugee Determination Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. For well over forty years, he has served on many other boards and committees that safeguard the well-being of immigrants and visible minorities in general.
His involvement with seniors’ issues spans from his days as vice-chair of the BC Seniors Advisory Council, representing BC on the Canada Coordinating Committee for the UN’s IYOP celebrations, member of the BC Premier’s Council on Aging and Seniors’ Issues, and member of BC Regional Review Committee for the New Horizons Program for Seniors.
He has since served on the City of Richmond Seniors’ Advisory and Intercultural Advisory Committees, the board of directors of Richmond Addiction Services Society, the Provincial Advisory Committee of United Way for “Better at Home”, the Council of Advisors to the BC Seniors Advocate and Cross Cultural Roundtable on Security under the Federal Minister for Public Security.
At present Mohinder is the Vice President of Metro Vancouver Cross Cultural Seniors Network Society and a director of COSCO. He is also a member of the Provincial Committee on Cultural Diversity and Policing.
He is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
David lives in Burnaby. For about 17 years he was an elementary school teacher in Surrey. He then attended UBC Law School and practiced in Vancouver in the areas of Immigration Law, Criminal Law, Human Rights Law, and Labour Law. Since retiring from practice David has served as a panel member of the Property Assessment Review Panel and the Employment Assistance Appeal Tribunal.
David sits in on 411’s Program Committee and Membership Committee.
Gerald (Gerry) Dragomir
Gerald has only just realized, in his 70th year, that he is a fully qualified senior. However, that is not stopping him from continuing to work full-time in his accounting practice that primarily serves the NPO sector. In addition, Gerald is finishing up a Masters at UBC in High-Performance Coaching and will be lobbying ardently to be admitted into a doctoral program once that is wrapped up. If that was not enough, Gerald enjoys coaching high-performance Olympic athletes and will be (carefully) making his way to Japan for this version. Hopefully, his athlete will finally get his gold medal and he will be able to tone it down a bit.
Alana Kenyon was born in Winnipeg Manitoba. In her early teens, her family moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where at the age of 19 Alana became a full-time postal worker.
During her time with Canada Post, she was introduced to the labor movement. Through decades of violent strikes and worker unrest, Alana developed a passion for workers’ rights. She immersed herself in Union education programs. Alana received a scholarship from the Canadian Labor Congress and completed the Labor Studies program at Laurentian University.
Through hard work and dedication, Alana became a recognized national facilitator, and worked beside other Unions helping educate workers on human rights, health, and safety. As a long term shop steward, Alana also sat on several committees over the years. She had the distinct privilege to be a loaned agent to the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and worked with them for 4 years, until she retired. Alana enjoyed her work with the United Way, finding it both challenging and fulfilling.
After 36 ½ years working at Canada Post, Alana has retired. She has been retired now for almost 4 years, spending time enjoying outdoor activities and her small grandson. During the current pandemic, people feel somewhat disconnected from community, and are looking for ways to reach out. Alana was pleased when a friend and mentor Marion Pollack invited her to volunteer at the 411 Seniors Centre. Alana looks forward to participating in and contributing to the good work of the non-profit or foundation.