Club offers companionship

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

After a long and happy time together your dearest partner has died and you are on your own, so what can you do to make life easier?

For the past 33 years widowed Clutha folk have been banding together with one common cause – to support and care for each other.

Members of the Balclutha Widows and Widowers Club meet for lunch at Rosebank Lodge on the first Friday of each month.

The club invites a wide variety of speakers, who regale members with their life stories or offer advice on an assortment of topics.

The club has about 65 active members, who enjoy the regular excursions organised by the club.

Member Mary McClintock said when her husband died at an early age she felt as though she had many years of a lonely existence ahead of her.

“Thanks to the kind support of a great group of ladies, who asked me to join them as they formed the club back then, I realised that I was not alone.

“It is all about companionship. It was nice to know there were others like me and someone out there who cared,” she said.

Club president Viv Fyall said the very social group was there to provide assistance and support to members.

One of the club’s few current male members, Don Waugh, said Mrs Fyall had encouraged him to come along.

“There are a mixture of people and interests here – a lot of women and only a couple of men – but the chance to meet up and enjoy a good meal means a lot. It also means I don’t have to wash the dishes tonight.

“For many older people the chance to have a roast is rare as we are cooking for one. So it’s great to come here, chat to the ladies and enjoy a good roast meal,” he said.

Mrs Fyall said she wanted any widows and widowers who were not members to come along, meet others and have a good time.

“We celebrate birthdays, go out on day trips and you can meet so many different people.

leftover funds from our very, very small membership fees to charities such as the local St John, LandSAR, fire [brigade] and the hospice.

“We are looking for more men to join but all are welcome,” she said.

The club meets for a meal at the Rosebank Lodge at noon on the first Friday of the month.