Q&A with Harriet Boivin, secretary of the Happy Hour Seniors Club

HAPPY HOUR CLUB MEMBERS: (Back row, from left) Harriet Boivin, Gus Roose, Connie Roose, Dino Crosswell, Stella Sandul, Cora Chabot, Dorothy Charles, Betty Young, Shirley Yanishewski, and George Sandul. (Front row, from left) Ernie Chabot, Agnes Kozuback, Pat McAusland, Jean Roberts, and Violet Meise.

Membership to the Happy Hour Seniors Club is age 45 and over. How many members do you currently have?
Anyone over the age of 45 is welcome to join the Happy Hour Club. At the present time we have 76 members, including nine life members.

Do members have to live in Spirit River?
To become a member you do not have to live in Spirit River. We have members from Grande Prairie, Silver Valley, Woking and the surrounding farming communities.

How many members have received the Honorary Life Membership?
A person is given an Honorary Life Membership if they have been with the club and move away or become too sick to attend the club. When a member passes away, their name is placed on the memorial board.

You have a lot of activities, which are among the most favorite? Do you ever have tournaments against other senior clubs such as the Merry Pioneers?
We do not have other clubs come to the centre for tournaments, but we do have Wizard Tournaments every Tuesday of each month and Push Rummy Tournaments on the first and second Thursdays of each month. The second Monday of each month is Birthday Bingo. At Birthday Bingo the members that have a birthday that month are recognized. Every Wednesday Court Whist is played. There are other card games to play as well as pool and shuffleboard tables. Also, there are countless puzzles to build alone or with friends. The third Thursday of each month, Bingo is played with guests from the Lodge. Either Bingo, Crib or Whist is played on Saturdays.

How often do you hold bake sales? How fast do they sell out? What are the funds put towards?
We have a tea, bake and garage sale in May and October. Within the first hour most of the baking is sold. The proceeds from the sales go towards the upkeep of the club.

Your club participates in the Chepi Sepe parade each year. Do you have a committee for this?
The club does not have a float in the Chepi Sepe parade, but we do sponsor a bingo in the Ross Family Room, with the help of the members. The Happy Hour Seniors Club offers a foot clinic on the 4th Thursday of the month. How popular is this clinic? The foot care clinic is held the fourth Thursday of all months other than August, and is very well attended. One gentleman comes all the way from Tangent to get foot care.

Who planted the beautiful Hollyhocks outside?
As far as anyone can remember it was most likely Mary Solomiany that planted the Hollyhocks. Every fall they are cut down, but they grow back in the spring.

Are there any special events that the Happy Hour Seniors Club hosts each year?
At the beginning of the year, as soon as the audit report is done we have our annual meeting with the election of the officers. Every Tuesday morning the TOPS club meet for weigh and socializing. In January each year we have a year-end pot luck supper with members and invited guests. There is musical entertainment followed by games of choice.

How important is it for seniors to get out and socialize with others their age?
It is good for seniors to get out and socialize with others their age because it gives them a chance to talk. They can talk about recipes for some of the best baked goods, as well as what’s new with their kids and grandkids, or anything else of interest. Getting out of the house to play cards or board games, or even just talk keeps seniors young at heart.

How do you attract new members? Is it difficult to attract younger members around the 45 -55 age range?
We do not have any members under the age of 60-65. It seems that younger people think that the club is only for old people, but anyone is welcome. It would be nice to have some younger members.

Finally, what would you like new residents of Spirit River to know about the club?
What people may not know is that we also have a library set up with all kinds of books and puzzles that the members can take home and return when they are done with them. Also available are books and puzzles that are for sale by donation.