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Friendship Club of Gatineau Inc.

Our Purpose

Organization Purpose of the Friendship Club

The purpose of the Club is to promote good physical & mental health of seniors in our community as well as provide a meeting place for English speaking seniors to gather and share ideas and give support to each other. We also want to have fun while we are together, and working on projects. By developing relationships and friendships, the organization will become even stronger. All persons of 55 years of age or older can join our Club. Keeping in mind that this Club is set up to serve the Anglophone community of our city, all of the business is conducted in the English language. However, members may express themselves in the French language and someone will interpret for them.

FRIENDSHIP CLUB OF GATINEAU

 

OUR HISTORY

 

The Friendship Club of Gatineau came into existence after three founding members saw the need for an English seniors club in our community and decided to do something about it. A notice was placed in the St. Aloysius Church Bulletin the weekend of February 16-17, 1991. It asked that anyone interested in forming a seniors club attend a meeting to be held on the afternoon of February 21, 1991.

 

Sixteen parishioners of St. Aloysius attended the meeting and decided that we did want a club, that is should be named the Friendship Club of Gatineau, and that it should be opened to all Anglophones of our community. We informed the Parish Wardens Board and asked if the Parish Hall could be used for our gatherings.  The board agreed and we formed an ad hoc committee made up of the Maintenance Warden and the newly elected President of the Friendship Club to determine limits. At a later date and on the advice of legal council, the Club was incorporated in the Province of Quebec for protection against liabilities should an accident occur. We could not be protected under the Churchs insurance policy. So, the result was a separate corporation with our own insurance policy. We then requested and received charitable status from both Revenue Canada and Revenue Quebec. This was granted because of the Clubs main goal: To provide an environment that would foster good physical and mental help for the seniors of our community. It was stated quite clearly from the start that we did not want a Club where we sat around and did nothing and that the Club should be run by all of its members and not just a few on the Executive. To this day those original precepts are honored.

 

We then looked at ways and means in which we could acquire what was needed to achieve our goal. First, we approached the representatives at all levels of Government. We found that there was indeed support for seniors groups in the form of grants. Our first grant came from our MPP John Kehoe, to help us get started. We then received help from the New Horizons Program  of Health Canada. To qualify, at least 60 percent of the members had to be over 60 years of age and we had to have a guarantee from the owners of the building we were using that we would be allowed to stay for at least five years. We obtained that guarantee from the Wardens Board. These grants are one time deals and cannot be repeated. The Club members agreed that if we could get money to improve our hall, both the Church and the Friendship Club would benefit. So, we went for it. Of the grants mentioned above, about half was spent on things for the Club while the other half was spent on hall and kitchen improvements. Included in this was the replacement of 37 table tops with first quality tops; a new stove for the kitchen; TV/VCR; a good PA system; floor repairs for the room used by the Friendship Club; blinds for all windows; and a few other minor objects. In 1995, after some of our members complained of how cold the hall was, we asked for and received permission from the Wardens Board to seek  funds to replace the windows. We approached our MPP Claire Vaive who was willing to help. In the early days, we had approached our MPP John Kehoe and received funds to help replacing the lights in the Hall. Later on, we asked for and received another grant to upgrade those lights for the ones that are being used now. The last project was a project shared equally with the Parish. The Club continues to help out wherever possible and, although still operating much as it did in the beginning, its organization has grown to an Executive of five elected Officers and 15 Committee Members and its membership has now reached around 200 members.  You can see the calendar of events on another page of this website. There is an average of 60 to 80 members present at all our functions and more than 100 at special events. Members are happy with the existing format; a format that  continues to keep them in control of their Club.


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From: February 19, 2018

Since February 19, 2018

 

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