Rendez-Vous Club still serving seniors after 40 years

By Lucie Roy

Morinville – For the past four decades, a local organization has been serving and celebrating Morinville area seniors. But the group is so active with its plans, there is little time to celebrate.

“The Rendez-Vous Club members in Morinville are quietly celebrating 40 years of service to seniors in the community and surrounding area,” said Rita Hebert, the board of directors’ secretary. Vice-President Carol Kaup echoed the same sentiment. “With so many other activities to plan and organize and the Apple Fest and Craft Sale scheduled for Nov. 3 just around the corner, there is not much time for a 40th celebration.”

Hebert said current club membership is in excess of 100 members and a second generation of seniors are still active with the club. Christine Vranas, one of those second generation members, can still be seen playing cards at the centre. She is the daughter of one of the club’s founding members.

Members gather on Tuesday morning for the weekly Coffee Time to catch up on news and events. It is also an opportunity for non-members to come in and visit.

The concept of the Rendez-Vous Club was born in 1972 from a group of seniors who enjoyed getting together and playing cards. To this day Bridge, Beginner Bridge, Euchre and 500 are still some of the mainstay club activities at the centre. “Things have changed from the beginning of just cards,” Hebert said. “We have shuffleboard, movie night, computer classes, carpet bowling and Internet access. The activities have expanded to include the Collective Kitchen, Military Whist, and floor curling. The present day members are all just as busy as our early ones were. Other groups meet here as well – the Morinville Minstrels, Literary Society, Knitting Club, and Quilting Club to name a few.”

[SUBHEAD]Plenty of history

The club held its first meeting Aug. 2, 1972 at the town office with Louise Billo and Mayor Art Stapleton. Since that time, 13 presidents have provided the support and vision to see the club thrive to what it is today.

In 1985 a building committee was formed to either add-on or build a new facility. In 1986 a fund raising campaign was created and by April of 1988 the go ahead was given to build today’s modern club facility. Numerous upgrades have been made to the facility in the last few years, including upgrades to the kitchen and new furnishings to meet the club’s current demands.

This year the board of directors started a Silent Hero Award to highlight volunteers who quietly help out time and time again. The Silent Hero for October is Solange Bachand who received the award for hosting the Tuesday Coffee Time.

Although the centre has existed in the community for four decades many are still not aware of the many programs the group offers or that membership is open to those 50 and above. The Rendez-Vous Centre is located across from the arena.

Above: Morinville Seniors Rendez-Vous Club Secretary Rita Hebert looks at photos and reminisces about the club’s 40-year history Oct. 9. – Lucie Roy Photo

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