Nfld. & Labrador

'The sky's the limit': Growing Labrador seniors' club moves into bigger space

The Twin Cities Senior 50+ Club started in the '80s with just 16 members. Now it has almost 250.

New location in church basement includes a full kitchen and accessible parking

Noreen Careen, president of the Twin Cities Seniors 50+ Club, says 'the sky's the limit' for the club's new home. (CBC)

A seniors' club in Labrador West is celebrating all the possibilities of its new home after outgrowing its old one.

The Twin Cities Seniors 50+ Club on Wednesday marked the grand opening if its new location in the basement of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Labrador City.

"It's a wonderful space," club president Noreen Careen told Labrador Morning. "We're very excited."

Before finding the new space in the Catholic church, the seniors' club had occupied a bungalow on Centennial Drive. Careen said the new space allows the club to accommodate a lot more people and open up different activities.

"We can [now] do things we could never do," Careen said. If the club had held a social in the house, hosting 30 people would have been stretching it, she said.

"We can [now] accommodate probably up to 180 people. And the wonderful piece is … it's totally accessible.

"The sky's the limit of the things we can do."

Region changing over the years

A new space was important for Twin Cities, as it had outgrown its old space. What started as 16 members in 1986 is almost 250 members today.

The demographics in Labrador West are changing, said Careen.

"The second or third generation of parents are staying here," Careen said. "And our club started to expand and really really grow."

Provincial Seniors' Advocate Suzanne Brake says the new space is great for the seniors of Labrador West. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

Provincial seniors' advocate Suzanne Brake said the exponential growth of the club is a sign of changing times, as more seniors choose to stay and be active in their communities.

"Historically, people would retire and move out of the community," Brake said. "They wouldn't be buying their houses and settling, and living and aging and dying in their community.… I've kind of kept my eye on this and thought, 'What an interesting place this is becoming."

She is excited to see the work done by Careen and the rest of the staff pay off as they move in.

"I greatly admire the work that's gone into establishing a home for their club, and a place for them to come together," Break said. "All of the things that go with that kind of a club."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Alex Kennedy and Labrador Morning


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