From left to right, front: Lisette Ross, President., Ida Loiselle, Treasure., Yolande Locas, Secretary. Back: André Picard, Vice President, Léo Martel, Director, Nicole Martel, Director
In the 1960s, there was a great rivalry between the citizens of Saint-Anicet and those living in Cazaville. The two hockey clubs clashed on the outdoor rink and no one was spared. Under the same intent, but in the context of dual membership, two Golden Age Clubs were launched – the first in 1970 in Saint-Anicet and the second in 1976 in Cazaville.
Times have changed, and seniors are increasingly attending both clubs, as members or as friends of members. After all, why not enjoy two days of activities per week instead of just one? Especially since both Cazaville and Saint-Anicet both stubbornly stick to their foundation. The Cazaville Golden Age Club owns the building housing its operation, which is also linked with that of the ‘Cercle des Loisirs de Cazaville’. This is convenient for both organizations, as anytime space is needed for an activity concerning seniors, all anyone ever has to do is open the door. A $1,500 grant from the municipality is awarded to the Club each year to offset the costs of electricity. The room is nicely decorated, comfortable and feels like home.
Tuesdays are reserved for activities put on by the Cazaville Club. Lisette Ross has served as the President of the Club for many years, even though she now lives in Valleyfield. The Club has 193 members, of which forty are active on a regular basis. Activities abound; four of spades tournaments, bingo, bowling, games and dinners during various festivals.
Jeannette Lafrance, Jeannette Boisjoly, Lise Caouette , Administrator, et Marcel Hart, Administrator du Club de l’Âge d’Or de Saint-Anicet
Wednesdays are devoted to the Saint-Anicet Club. Jeannette Lafrance, the President for the past five years, is a true ambassador. A warm welcome on the part of this tiny woman greets everyone who enters the community centre set within the Church. The Saint-Anicet Club has 126 members, and while around twenty are active, a number are spending the winter in Florida. The Club’s activities are, for the most part, centered around card games, bingo, and sandbags. Conversation and different points of view help to break the isolation and is appreciated.
But why is there such a large number of inactive members in both Golden Age Clubs? The phenomenon is largely due to the affiliation of the two clubs with the Fédération de l’âge d’or du Québec, which offers numerous discounts and privileges with many insurance companies as well as shops upon presentation of a membership card. The FADOQ membership card, which defends the rights of seniors with various government bodies, is offered to those aged 50 years and older. There are over 400,000 members in Quebec.
“The people living in the countryside are very nice,” said a resident of Valleyfield, who is familiar with both Golden Age Clubs. Certainly, the friendships that have developed between the members of the two clubs are obvious.
Denise St-Germain, Volunteer Correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent
Photos: Lise Guinard