• John Jantak

Quebec’s oldest English seniors’ club celebrates 50th anniversary


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Members of the Second Mile Senior Citizens’ Club of Pincourt play cards and participate in other recreational activities on November 19 during their weekly gathering from 2 to 4 p.m. every Thursday at the Omni-Centre.

Walk into a gathering of the Second Mile Senior Citizens’ Club of Pincourt on a Thursday afternoon and you’ll find a room filled with exuberant and spry ‘youngsters’ playing cards or other games and just having a lot of plain old fashioned fun.

The organization recently celebrated its 50th anniversary almost three weeks ago on November 10 as the oldest English seniors’ group in Quebec, a gala event that drew 127 people.

180 members

The organization has about 180 members. More than 75 per cent of the seniors live in Pincourt. Others live in the West Island and at least one comes from as far away as Laval, President Roland Dennis told The Journal during an interview at their gathering on November 22.

About 35 members were present that day, half of number of people that usually attend the weekly gathering, said Dennis. He blamed the low turnout on the unseasonably cold weather that may have kept some people away. Members play cards and participate in other recreational activities at the Omni-Centre every Thursday from two p.m. to four p.m., said Dennis.

Opportunity to socialize

“Some people play cards, other people play dominoes. Next week we’re going to play Bean Bag Baseball. We have a lot of fun. We get along well together. It’s a win-win situation. I’ve been here for 15 years. We’re all from different ethnic backgrounds and we all speak French and English. We’ve never had a problem. Everyone gets along,” said Dennis.

The club gives people who live alone a chance to get out and socialize instead of staying isolated. “It’s a meeting place for people who live alone, who have no family left. It’s really good. It keeps people occupied and keeps their minds working. We have a lot of fun. Our oldest member is 92,” Dennis said.

He’s been a regular at the club for the past 15 years and proudly boasts it’s where he met his recent wife. “I met Barbara here. My first two wives died and her first two husbands died. I’m 85. Barbara just turned 80. She’s a youngster compared to me,” said Dennis.

Potluck meals

A potluck meal is also a feature of the weekly gathering which allows everyone to dine and socialize at the beginning of every get-together. “Everyone brings something for the potluck, including dessert. Usually most of these tables are filled, but because of the cold weather, not as many people came today. People were able to have doubles today if they wanted,” he said.

Mayor Yvan Cardinal received special thanks for his unwavering support towards all the seniors within the community and for the town’s commitment towards supporting groups like the seniors’ club as part of its constantly evolving social development policy. Dennis sits as a committee member to talk about seniors’ needs.

Dennis encourages everyone over 50 to consider joining the group.

“We’re a very tight organization,” he said. “We all work together. People often hear about us from a friend of a friend of a friend.”

For more information, contact the Second Mile Senior Citizens’ Club of Pincourt via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/101421227055104/.

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