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Midweek social aids healthy living by the bay

The weather was good enough for a wood chop this week, offering cultural appreciation for yet another chance to get some backup heating fuel, even some Christmas craft pieces, put away for winter use. The locally-delivered wood cut into fireplace sticks with the help neighbour Clyde Blanchard (not in photo), this fine family crew of 50-plus folk from McIvers on the Bay of Islands lower north shore stood inspired by the work ethic shown by a dear 89-year-old mentor, Mrs. Hannah Park, who is one of town's oldest citizens. She was happy to have her snap taken helping out her woodchopper son-in-law Pat Gambin and daughter Dolly Park-Gambin load the waiting wheelbarrow for her son, Warren (Bud) Park.
The weather was good enough for a wood chop this week, offering cultural appreciation for yet another chance to get some backup heating fuel, even some Christmas craft pieces, put away for winter use. The locally-delivered wood cut into fireplace sticks with the help neighbour Clyde Blanchard (not in photo), this fine family crew of 50-plus folk from McIvers on the Bay of Islands lower north shore stood inspired by the work ethic shown by a dear 89-year-old mentor, Mrs. Hannah Park, who is one of town's oldest citizens. She was happy to have her snap taken helping out her woodchopper son-in-law Pat Gambin and daughter Dolly Park-Gambin load the waiting wheelbarrow for her son, Warren (Bud) Park.

Even as McIvers already lays claim to being the last place where the sun shines, senior socialites look to broaden its horizons.

Bay of Islands topography affords the north shore town its summer sunset bragging rights, but Pat Gambin and company at the local Golden Seabreeze 50-Plus Club additionally offer to brighten its shorter days and longer nights, as well.

As fall settles in and winter looms, Gambin, a retired teacher and transplanted Long Harbour native wed to a McIvers gal, is the newest president of the old seniors club. He stands committed to growing the club’s membership and adding to the community’s list of social offerings.

First up, a new Wednesday afternoon program just introduced by Gambin and his executive provides an added opportunity for residents of any age to share free of charge in a variety of activities of their own choosing.

Chat-filled with memories of fun-loving former club members since passed away, talk of the dedication and intensity of its card-playing fraternity, and tales of moose adventures gone awry, the first two-hour Wednesday social last week came complete with tea, coffee and sweet treats baked up and freely supplied by club supporters Delores Gambin and Marlene Lavhey.

The inaugural gathering attracted a few new faces and member signups.

Regular bowling excursions into Corner Brook and group bus tours around Bay of Islands and western Newfoundland, as well as summer music jams at the town’s new concert stage next door may all figure into the scheme of things.

But, for now, the Wednesday socials, slated 2-4 p.m. each week at the clubhouse on Wharf Road, are a place to go for older seniors grown lesser attuned to regular club fare, as well as for newcomers open to sharing time, ideas and some favourite activities with others in a cozy place.

Gambin specified the Wednesday social at the Golden Seabreeze is not just for existing or prospective club members. It is open to any resident of McIvers who wants to come, just as its two weekly card games are open to anyone from anywhere.

He hopes it will translate in broader involvement in community planning.

The club plan, he said, finds fit with a theme of healthy living being adopted within the broader age-friendly community.

The Golden Seabreeze club was established with federal New Horizons program support in the late 1980s. The building remains well maintained and fully functional.

Volunteer-led, the club has seen member participation wax and wane over the decades, but it remains a focal point for traditional social activities that include the Monday and Thursday card games which continue to attract players from around north shore.

Occasional birthday and anniversary celebrations held there also benefit the club as local and area donors contribute to help keep it financially sound and operational.

Gambin remains hopeful that the Wednesday play is a whist worthy of all laying their trumps on the table.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at: bayofislands2008@gmail.com.

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