Requiem for the New Horizons Club

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by Shirley Price

In 1982, a group of retired persons living in the Burritts Rapids village and area decided to start a club for seniors to meet in the Burritts Rapids community hall. They successfully applied for a New Horizons for Seniors grant from the federal government. The funds were used to purchase tables and chairs and other amenities for the hall and they formed “The Burritts Rapids New Horizons Club for Seniors” with its own constitution and by-laws and which met every second and fourth Wednesday of each month from September to June.

Over the years, the Club grew from fewer than a dozen members to a high of over 100. The first President of the New Horizon Club was Jack Pinder-Moss. Our current membership includes Lorraine Maccraken, the longest serving member of the Club, who served two terms as President and took on many other jobs over the years. Joyce Mckay, one of the founding members, who passed away three years ago, was President twice as well as serving in other capacities throughout her years with the Club.

The objects of the Club, according to the constitution, were to further the happiness and dignity of its members and to promote and sponsor, in the name of the Club, such activities as may be proposed and approved by its members. Over the thirty-eight years, the various executive committees elected by members have worked hard to plan and organize a variety of activities for members to enjoy such as pot luck lunches, celebrations of special events throughout the year including Oktoberfest, Christmas, St. Andrew’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, pancake lunches, theatre trips, speakers on a variety of topics, contests, dancers, and the annual variety show begun 24 years ago with jokes, readings, songs, music, and dances, all by members.

The current executive and officers are Shirley Price, President, Janet Glaves, Vice President and Public Relations Officer, Jean Travers, Treasurer, Ruby Schryburt, Secretary, Golida Tym, Chair of Programme Committee, members at large Susan Ewing, Rhoda Macinnis, and Grayce Muir. Special committee chairs are: Good Cheer, Moira Anderson; Karen Wattie, Email Coordinator, and Telephone Committee Golida Tym and Eleanor Muscoft.

Unfortunately, membership has been declining and it became more difficult to attract what we “older seniors” call “younger seniors”. There are fewer members who feel that that they are able and willing to take on the jobs of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Programme Officer and other roles needed to keep a club like the New Horizons Club active and on-going. For that reason, it was necessary to dissolve the Club as of August 31, 2020, the end of the fiscal year.

For those of us who have been active members for many years, it is a loss of the opportunity to gather and socialize regularly with friends and a loss of the opportunity to make new friends.

New Horizons Club, we will miss you.

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