Flora Howey plays a game of canasta at the Harrison Social Club’s 15th anniversary. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Harrison Social Club celebrates 15 years

The club has been gathering seniors for more than a decade to drink coffee, play games and socialize

On Thursday (May 9), nearly 30 people were inside Harrison’s Memorial Hall to celebrate 15 years of card games, coffee and socializing.

Flora Howey, playing a game of canasta with some other members of the Harrison Social Club, was one of the first people to join when it was created in 2004.

“They put a sign outside, and I was going for a walk and made an appearance, and they invited me for coffee,” she said. “I’ve just been coming ever since.”

Mayor Leo Facio with a group of women started the club in February 2004, although the club officially got going in May of that year and kept on every Thursday since.

The club’s goal was to create a space for Harrison residents — and people from surrounding areas — to get to know their community. Coffee is on at the Harrison Memorial Hall by nine, and people will usually stay until noon eating homemade cakes and playing cards.

RELATED: Social club ramps up participation in the community

“Arnold (Caruk) bakes a cake every week,” Jacquie Neville said. Neville has been a member of the Harrison Social Club for “quite a few years,” but wasn’t at the 15th anniversary celebration.

“It’s a social outing for people to get out and enjoy people,” she added.

Although card games — mostly canasta, crib and a newly-introduced game called manipulation — are the main source of activity now, the Social Club has done a number of different events over the years, including quilting, lunch outings and swimming at the Harrison Hotel.

“We had special times,” Nancy Allison, one of the original members of the Social Club, said. “The first year, on July 1, we were asked to provide the cake and the refreshments for the whole village.”

For Allison, it’s the people that kept her coming back.

“The card games were fun, and the lunches were fun, and the people were just tremendous,” she said.

Through the club’s history, it’s been mostly geared towards seniors, but that’s something Neville is hoping will change in the future.

“We’d actually like to get something where younger people start coming,” she said.

After all, as Howey noted at the 15th anniversary meeting, the club was meant to be a way for people to get to know their community, regardless of their age.

“It’s great for new people that come to Harrison to have some place to socialize, get to know people,” she said.


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Members of the Harrison Social Club who have been there for seven years or more. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

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