Andrew Rice knows an organization’s president should sometimes expect tough questions from members, but it’s the folks outside his group he finds hardest to respond to on occasion.
Rice has been president of the Humber Valley Senior Citizens Club for the last nine years.
The 50-plus club, which was established in 1972, has been filled to its capacity of 180 members for the past several of those years now. In 2016, The Western Star did a story about how the wait list to get in was at around 25.
The latest numbers have that list more than doubled to 53. It was as high as between 60 and 65, but deaths and decisions by some not to renew their memberships have brought the number back down a little.
“Is it ever hard,” Rice said of knowing there are people wanting to be a part of the group’s regular activities.
“I get people all the time asking me when they can get in and where they are on the list.”
One of the most active, if not the most active, associations for seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador, the club does host weekly bridge, rummoli and other card games that are open to the public.
“We’ve always got something happening in the club,” Rice said of why so many people want to be a part of it.
The club technically covers the area from Pynn’s Brook to Little Rapids, but Rice said there are some members who have moved beyond that area and have maintained their membership.
Rice said an effort has been in the works to source federal funding to extend the club’s 35-year-old building so it can handle around 50 more members. He noted the Town of Pasadena has been helping the club with that application process, but nothing has been arranged just yet.
“If we can get the funding it would be great, but it’s not easy,” said Rice. “We have the town on or side because they know Pasadena is growing and it’s growing with seniors.”