Gateway Seniors 50+ Club welcomes new executive

Aethne Hinchliffe
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The sign on the wall at the Gateway Seniors 50+ club really says it all.

The new executive of the Gateway Seniors 50+ Club, back form left, President Rick Farrell, second vice Betty Mauger and first vice Ab Francis; front, treasurer Myrtle Pope and secretary Ethel Clevett.

“We are not waiting to die. We have just begun to live.”

The club’s newest president, Rick Farrell, learned that first hand after attending a dance at the club just before Christmas.

It was his first time attending any of the club’s events. The dance started at 9 p.m. and ended a bit after midnight. He said he hadn’t had such a good time in a long time.

Within a few weeks, Mr. Farrell, 57, agreed to take on the roll of president. He said he wanted to give some of the older executive members a chance to sit back and enjoy the benefits of the club. He also wants to help bring new ideas in the to group.

“This is not my club. This is the member’s club,” he said. “We will do our duties to the fullest so our seniors can enjoy themselves.”

The “we” he was referring to includes the other executive members. Ab Francis is the first vice-president, Betty Mauger is the second vice-president, Ethyl Clevett is the secretary and Myrtle Pope is the treasurer.

Since taking over, Mr. Farrell has also brought back some sub committees such as the kitchen committee and the calling committee. He wants every member to have a purpose within the club.

Enrolment in the club has increased in the past few months. Mr. Farrell said there is now a waiting list for people to join.

“We don’t want to deny anyone who wants to come through that door,” said Mr. Farrell. “The building can only hold so many people. There’s a fire code.”

While the club is famous for card games, dances and suppers, the new executive have some ideas for new events and activities to add to that list. He’s hoping to have a talent night where people can perform, or just sit back and enjoy some live performances.

Vice Presdient Ab Francis has been a member for about five years. He played a big role in inviting Mr. Farell to take over as president. At 61, Mr. Francis feels it is up to the younger crowd to keep the club going.

“If we didn’t step in, there might not have been anyone to step forward,” he said.

Secretary Ethyl Clevett has been in the club for about 12 years and has served as secretary for the past ten. She gets a lot of enjoyment from being a member.

“I like the camaraderie and fellowship of being with the crowd,” she said. “I just enjoy being with them.”

Treasurer Myrtle Pope has been in that post for seven years, and has been a club member for 11 years. For her, it’s the card games that she enjoys the most.

“It’s the company of people,” she said. “I’ve always made friends here.”

Betty Mauger has been a member of the club for longer than just about anyone. She joined 24 years ago with her husband. Like Mr. Farrell, it’s her first time on the executive.

“I enjoy every minute,” she said. “Helping in the kitchen, dances, cards… the friends here are wonderful.”

Mr. Farrell is encouraging members of the club to speak with any member of the executive with ideas or concerns. People interested in getting on the waiting list to join the club can also contact the executive.

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