The Benito Rossi Social Centre: one of Kirkland’s hidden gems

Bocce tournaments, bridge and bingo highlight well attended centre

By Kevin Woodhouse

Underneath the Kirkland library can be found the Benito Rossi Social Centre which houses two working bocce playing fields made from synthetic material that allows for easier maintenance and safer playing for users. It’s one of Kirkland’s hidden treasures.

But after nearly two decades that is not all the social centre offers as card enthusiasts descend on the club for bridge tournaments, card games as well as bingo events, pool tournaments, social dances and outdoor excursions.

Steve Rozza has been president of the centre since the club’s namesake, Benito Rossi who founded the club, passed away six years ago. Rozza told The Suburban that the club was founded when it was discovered that many of the city’s Italian residents wanted to play bocce all through the year.

“Our mayor at the time, Nick Discepola, enjoyed the game and so he gave us the room for the centre,” Rozza said.

The synthetic pitches are also a lot easier on maintenance as the former gravel courts required vigilant care after every game. “The centre is open every night and we have about 250 members in all,” said Rozza.

Rozza said that the centre’s popularity stems from the variety of possible activities and that “it is a convenient place for people who like to go out and see friends and family. We have anglophones, francophones and Italians all together having a good time.”

To find out more about the Benito Rossi Social Centre, contact [514] 630-2736 for membership and other details. Yearly membership fees are $15 for residents and five dollars more for non-residents.
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