‘What if we’re not happy with the Aboriginal word?’ Seniors centre naming deferred

APPROPRIATE NAME: Orange U3A's Cecily Butcher says the Wiradjuri word for 'meeting place' will suit the Orange Senior Citizens and Pensioners Centre.

APPROPRIATE NAME: Orange U3A's Cecily Butcher says the Wiradjuri word for 'meeting place' will suit the Orange Senior Citizens and Pensioners Centre.

THE Orange Senior Citizens and Pensioners Centre is set to receive a Wiradjuri name to diversify its patronage, however a decision has been deferred until the wording can be confirmed. 

Orange City Council considered a recommendation to use the Wiradjuri word for ‘meeting place’, with the English version also included.

Councillor Neil Jones said he agreed with the concept.

“This is a move in the right direction to include Wiradjuri names,” he said.  

But questions on what the wording was could not be answered, with community services director Scott Maunder saying confirmation was still coming. 

“What if we’re not happy with the Aboriginal word?” councillor Russell Turner said.

“I want to be more comfortable that it would still appear to be available to everyone – there might be some perception, rightly or wrongly, it might only be for Aboriginal use.”

Orange Aboriginal Land Council chief executive officer Annette Steele said she was seeking advice from Stan Grant, who started the Wiradjuri language dictionary.

“There’s a lot of names for meeting place, but they mean different things,” she said.

“Some it’s about people moving, some it’s about people meeting at this place, it’s just different connotations to the words because we don’t have suffixes and prefixes.”

Orange U3A member Cecily Butcher said she had suggested calling it the Orange Learning and Leisure Centre.

“I think ‘meeting place’ is appropriate because that’s what the building is – so many groups in town use it,” she said. 

“We use it three days a week, I know new citizens have a group and Vinnies have lunch once a week.”

Jan Savage, who has run art classes at the centre, raised the idea of renaming it in 2014 because she felt the existing name restricted the usage.

“There’s a lot of activities for the 50-plus, but the 50-plus don’t want to be associated with senior citizens or pensioners or superannuants,” she said at the time.

“We need a more uplifting and positive approach to retired people who want to make use of a community facility.”

Other suggested names were the Community and Senior Citizens Centre, 77 Kite Street, Orange Community Centre and Welcome House.

The renaming will be considered at a future meeting. 

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