Seniors’ highlight of week

Lots of chatter as seniors club back operating

Brenda Vowden





Many people, as the song goes, don’t like Mondays. But for more than 40 older folk, Mondayis possibly the best day of the week. The Tait Drive Social Club (TDSC) has been operating for about 35 years and with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers, provides a place where people can gather for morning tea, enjoy a two-course lunch, entertainment, activities, a sales table and raffle — all for the nominal sum of $6. “We welcome anyone. They come from all over — there’s no restrictions and no membership required,” says convener Elsie Tonks, who has been a volunteer with TDSC for a quarter of a century. Elsie says the club is for older people to socialise. “They may be lonely and want a bit of company. They see each other once a week and just want to sit and talk. The club was closed during Covid and when it reopened there was so much chatter — it was lovely.” She says people make connections and recognise each other. “It’s the highlight of the week for many of them. They come in with big smiles. Most people find their own spot. They always come and compliment us for the food. The atmosphere is electric.” A different main meal and dessert are made each week. Seven volunteers help out, including “one man who sets the hall up”. Elsie says members provide their own transport, or if they are an Age Concern member, can be picked up and dropped off. “Everybody gets a birthday card. At Easter we get dressed up and act stupid. For Art Deco and St Patrick’s Day we do all sorts of funny things — even the cancan occasionally. They absolutely love it when the staff get silly notions.” A special mid winter Christmas dinner is held and there is a library available. Volunteer Ruth has been with the TDSC since 2006, and makes up baskets for the weekly raffle with goods donated by volunteers and members. “I was back from Australia and had moved into the village next door. I went and helped with the cooking and then joined the team.” Village neighbour Cindy got talking to Ruth and thought, “I can do that”. “I really enjoy the ladies and the people who come along. I love to hear the joy in their voices. We have fun.” Member Lillian says coming along is a good excuse to get out of the house. “It keeps that social interaction up. It’s one way of getting out. I like interacting.” Mavis says she enjoys going along each week and seeing the same people. “I really look forward to it. We usually sit in the same seats. I like sitting here because I can see all the people coming in and smiling. There’s always a cuppa and biscuit when we arrive. It makes you get up and put some decent clothes on.” TDSC, every Monday, Greenmeadows East Community Hall, Tait Drive, Napier. Cost $6. Transport is available for Napier Age Concern members only. For further inquiries phone Elsie 068434415.