By Edyth Shuman
Few institutions have had a richer involvement in the community life of Musquodoboit Harbour than the Harbour Lites’ Senior’s Club. In conjunction with Canada 150, the club will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of its clubhouse with an Outdoor Concert and Picnic at the Musquodoboit Harbour Train Museum on Sunday Jun 25th, 2017 at 1pm. There will be upwards of 25 Eastern Shore Musicians. This will be free admission as a THANK-YOU to our community! There will be a 50/50 draw in aid of our local Foodbank and Eastern Shore Mental Health. Our rain destination is PYC. Please plan to attend, and don’t forget your LAWN CHAIR!!! We’ll be able to supply some seating.
Back in the Day
The club got started back in 1976. At the time, the folks in and around Musquodoboit Harbour had just built a high school, a rink, a nursing home, and a new hospital. A number of Seniors who had been busy working on these community project decided to start a club.
Rev. Milton Fraser organized the first meeting at the old Railway Museum. The group then switched to Dollie Mosher’s home, with dances at the local firehall. In 1977, Verna Mac Donald and Musquodoboit Harbour First United Church donated the house at 167 Meagher’s Grant Rd. With a grant from the Federal Government’s New Horizon Program, the members were able to produce a comfortable meeting place. They had a piano given to them, and ended most meetings and socials with a sing-a-long lead by Emma George, Myrtle Young, and later by Mary and Paul Doucette.
The Members meet on a regular basis with the following mandate: To provide a Gathering place for Seniors to meet for companionship and recreation. There’s a weekly meeting to take care of the business of maintaining and running the Clubhouse. A snack, fellowship and games follow these meetings. On Saturday nights, there is an Auction 45s’ Game hosted by the members and open to the community.
Once a month, club members put on a dinner for members and their guests, almost always with local entertainment. There’s a Friday afternoon DROP-IN with games, entertainment, and afternoon tea. And the club presents a quarterly variety show with local talent in lunch. Members also take in some events around Halifax together.
In addition to games and fellowship, the club offers education in safety, financial, and health issues. There are regular updates on estates planning and drafting a power of attorney. Speakers bring us up to date on the latest scams aimed at seniors.
The Club has a long history of community service: Members took part in Christmas Daddies; advocated for Seniors whose rentals were being unfairly increased in public housing; raised money for the Red Cross; and took part in Senior’s Expo. Over the years Harbour Lites Seniors often took part in the Eastern Shore Community Fair. They would have a booth to sell baked good and often would enter a Float in the parade.
The Clubhouse is well used, not only by the Membership but the community at large. Two nights a week the clubhouse is used by Eastern Shore Literacy Program, two different choirs also use the club. Eastern Shore Players, Trailways assoc. and other community organizations use the Clubhouse from time to time.
The clubhouse has seen many changes over the years. This spring, MP Sean Fraser stopped by to announce a $11,849 grant to replace some aging applies and buy a new furnace.
The following is a list of the original members at the first meeting:
Rev, Milton & Helen Fraser---Walter & Marion Cromwell---Fred & Rena Withers—Cameron & Hazel Mosher---Sadie Gaetz—Agnas Anderson—Dollie Mosher—Beatrice Greenough—Elva Blinkley—Robert Stevens Sr.—Winnie Williams—Marjorie Warner—Laverne Young--- Stella Gaetz—Kay Pearce—Gertie Conrod---Gwen Rowlings—Frank Balcom—Bessie Smith—Clyde Siteman—Annie Bennett
The Following is a list of acting Presidents from over the past 40 years:
Milton Fraser—Cyril Emmet—Walter Cromwell—Jean Isnor—Ruby Webber—Claude Gaetz—Mabel Clements—Eugene Webber—Gladys Ritcey—Sheila Walkins—Gail Potter—Ron Clarks—Bob MacKay—Eleanor Keeping—Ross Peppard—Frances Weary