Betty Curry and Knoblay Clark entertain at the recent March meeting of the Seniors Council in Springhill. Hope Bridgewater photo

The first of four annual meetings of the Seniors’ Council and Clubs in Cumberland County was held on March 15 in Springhill at their Senior Citizens Recreation Centre.

This Club is one of more than 100 senior clubs in Nova Scotia under the direction of the Department of Seniors/N.S. Seniors Secretariat and a member of the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia, which presents annually items of senior concerns to the government. Several of these concerns have been legislated by the government over the years: free entry into provincial parks, property tax rebate, spouse’s allowance, uniform rates for nursing homes, de-indexing pensions, senior driving training, housing improvements, senior fitness programs, reduced bus fares, and Medicare. Those are some of the reasons that council meetings with senior clubs are so important.

The Springhill Recreation Centre has been in service for over 40 years and was once the Springhill Miners Office. The first floor has a spacious meeting room with stage, a large dining room and a kitchen. The second floor is used for quilting sessions.

The host Springhill executive president Brenda Rushton, secretary Ethel Gilbert and treasurer Verna Clark welcomed us and introduced the entertainment lasting from 11 a.m. to noon: Knoblay Clark (vocals, guitar and harmonica) and Betty Curry (piano). Clark was born in Newfoundland, came to Nova Scotia at an early age, lived in Antigonish, Bridgewater and Amherst. He spent 21 years in the Navy. He plays socially under the music name Knoblay Clark and few people know his real name. Curry is currently secretary for the council, and in the past has contributed greatly to Wentworth and Cumberland County by being a school teacher, Wentworth church organist for 71 years (played music from an early age), president of Wentworth United Church Women, chairwoman of the Wentworth Recreation Centre executive, organizer of the monthly Wentworth Sunday Music Afternoon and is a well-known pianist for groups playing Down East style old-tyme music. Often the entertainers at council meetings are seniors who contribute to their communities.

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At 1 p.m., the business meeting of council began with the executive president Arnold Smith, secretary Betty Curry, and treasurer Brenda Rushton.

Important points of business contained the following:

#1. Council election of officers for 2018 in November, 2017

#2. Federation’s Convention in Truro on May 2 and May 3, 2017, located at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel for voting delegates and friends of all the senior clubs in Nova Scotia

#3. Ethel Gilbert and Brenda Rushton were appointed council representatives at the Federation’s Convention

#4 Summer Picnic to be held in Wentworth on Aug. 9, 2017, 1:30 p.m. at the Wentworth Recreation Centre

#5. Next Council meeting on May 17, at Northport (Shiminicas) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

#6. Discussion about the funding shortage for the Cumberland County Public Library system with headquarters in Amherst and it was suggested each club write a letter of concern or voice their concern to their MLA

#7. Club activities: three clubs responded and all three shared these activities since the last meeting: Christmas celebrations; New Year’s parties; card parties of Auction 45s; potluck suppers; music afternoons. Extra with Springhill: a 45th anniversary as a club and a trip to the sugar woods.

Recently deceased members: Eunice White and Darrell Spence.

The meeting was adjourned and we look forward to May when there are the Federation’s Convention in Truro and another Council meeting in Northport (Shinimicas).