Seniors 50-Plus Club

January 22, 2016

I just turned 60 years old. As I thought about doing this post today, I wondered (and am still wondering) if I will ever join a seniors’ club.

Funny thing: on the outside people seem to know I am a senior and when I notice people my age, they look like seniors to me.  Yet I do not view myself as being one of them.

Somehow, it is like I am being invited into a club but one that I do not feel I could possibly be part of.

Yet I think beginning in Canada’s centennial year, 1967, virtually every community in Canada, including small villages, was given government funds to create a senior centre.

Here is my article from years ago:

Gravelbourg Gazette: Mankota- Glentworth Edition

January 12, 1983

Seniors 50 – Plus Club : Mossbank News

by Tanya Lester

The Mossbank 50-Plus Club is a comfortable place where senior citizens can meet for fellowship. They can play cards, make crafts or just simply visit with their longtime neighbours over coffee.

Ir is the seniors’ place and they take pride in the building and what they have done with it and their club. Every day, except Sunday, a variety of the 54 members meet from 2:00 to 5:00 pm as well as 7:00 to 10:00 p.m to socialize.

Besides playing cards, there is shuffleboard and bingo, once a month. There are birthday parties, teas and bake sales, potluck suppers, and Christmas parties.

Quilts have been made at a quilting frame set up right in the building. One quilt was raffled and brought in $480 which was donated to the Artificial Ice Fund.

A pad of paper set out on the counter at the Club is where members jot down the Mossbank personal news as it happens. This news finds its way into the Gravelbourg Gazette and Assiniboia Times.

Lunches and entertainment events are provided and organized by a committee of three. They are Jeannette Ireland, Eva McLean, and Dale Hicks. But these members, although they make important contributions, do not have to do all of the work.

For one thing, the Club has an automatic dishwasher and everyone seems to be willing to pitch in when work has to be done. “It’s nothing to see the women playing cards and the men up doing the dishes,” Phyllis Helland , the 50-Plus Club secretary-treasurer, said.

Then, there are the contributions that the president, Heber Moore makes. “He looks after it (the building) like it’s his own place,” Mrs. Helland said. Mr. Moore does the janitorial work such as cleaning away the snow.

Some of the other names that should be mentioned for their contributions are the vice-president, Mary Larson and Ethel Howlett who put a lot of work into starting the club.

The club began in the fall of 1976, when 10 directors, were selected under the New Horizons program to form the Senior Citizenz Friendly Circle.

The town council gavethe former bakery building on Main St. to the seniors to be used for the club’s functions. But in 1977, this old building was demolished and the new present building was under contruction by 1978.

Many of the seniors contributed to the building , which is equipped with a wheelchair ramp. They  helped paint the outside of it. According to Mrs. Helland, several senior citizens helped paint the inside of the buildin and scrubbed the floor last year.

Furniture for the club was origninally donated. But gradually, the club was able to buy new furniture and it has created a cozy atmosphere.

Recently other groups have put on a bake sale and run a defensive driving course in the club’s building.  “It’s a very handy place, right on Main St.,” Mrse. Helland said. She also said that groups are always welcome to use their facilities and there is no rent charged.

But the socializing of the group is not always done inside the building. The 50 Plus Club has made bus trips to Lake Diefenbaker, Coronach and elsewhere. Then, there was the homecoming float they made for the parade in 1980. The float contained  about 1000 handmade flowers and was one of the top ten in the parade. Mr. Moore takes photographs of these and other events which are kept in photo albums at the club.

One activity that has declined at the club is working on arts and crafts. “They’ve done that all their lives,” Mrs. Helland said. The group would rather play cardsand talk which is something they did not have much time to do when they were younger.

Unlike many elderly people, the members of the Mossbank 50 Plus Club are still enjoying life …



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