On the final Sundays of January, February, and March, the Sidney Rotary Club members offered a BINGO bonanza to local gambling aficionados at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney. Fifty to sixty dedicated BINGO fanatics got two hours per session of X is the Rage, Railway tracks, cross the T, postage stamps, hollow square, and the like, served up as the old-style BINGO game on old-style BINGO cards.
BINGO has been a long-standing tradition with the Rotary Club of Sidney. The club has retained several hundred of the old-fashioned leather-coated, number-slider multi-use BINGO cards. These cards date back to the early ‘50s when our club, according to our history track, first introduced BINGO and some other adult games of chance to the North and South Saanich Agricultural Fair. At the former fair site, the club even had its’ own building, a farm barn, updated and modified for our club’s use as a BINGO hall however, when the fair moved to its present site in 1991 the costs of establishing a new permanent building proved to be prohibitive, so the club converted to a tent-like canvass-covering format and has been operating like nomads ever since.
COVID certainly put a crimp into our recent offerings. As just one example, in this last year, our major problem turned out to be how to disinfect our leather cards without ruining them. We finally bowed to local health orders and didn’t offer our usual BINGO suite at the fair. And we have it on good authority that a few dedicated BINGOites actually stomped over to the Fair Admin Office and demanded their entrance fee be refunded because there was no BINGO to be played. So, needless to say, the club will be offering BINGO again at this fall’s Saanich Fall Fair!