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Seniors led a march of more than 200 protesters through the streets of Revelstoke on Aug. 6, as part of the community’s renewed fight against the Interior Health Authority’s plans to shut down Moberly Manor, the well-loved facility that has been home to elderly citizens of this close-knit town for more than 30 years.

The march from the seniors’ center to Moberly Manor - where 20 seniors currently reside - was only the latest of many demonstrations, rallies and other public events held over the last 15 months. At the rally following the march, speakers praised the role of HEU members to save the place the people they care for call home. They also told of the facility’s place in the history of this town of 7,000.

“The people of Revelstoke built Moberly Manor,” says Margaret McMahon, march organizer and a member of Revelstoke Senior Citizens’ Association. “We planned it, lobbied government and raised the money. The B.C. Liberals never put one nail in that building and now they want to take it away from us.”

Last spring when the IHA announced the closure of the facility, they gave the elderly residents 30-days’ notice to find somewhere else to live.

That outrageous and callous announcement infuriated the people of Revelstoke, and when the IHA actually tried to move one resident against her wishes, the community rallied to stop it. In an unprecedented act of community solidarity, over 400 townspeople encircled the facility and physically barred management from moving anyone.

The IHA backed down and granted a reprieve and a promise of consultation - a promise the community feels it has not lived up to and the reason it continues to hold rallies and protests.

“Your actions over a year ago, to blockade the Moberly Manor to make sure the government did not close the facility and evict people from their homes, has continued to serve as an inspiration for all social activists in the province,” said HEU president Fred Muzin in a letter of support sent to the Revelstoke seniors in advance of the march.

The Revelstoke Save Our Services Coalition asks others to add their voices to the fight to save Moberly Manor by sending e-mails to peter@revelstoke.net.