19 Dec, 2022
There will be a new name in the new year, but a long-standing local institution will still welcome all older people looking for weekly fun and companionship.
It’s not the first name change. Established at least 40 years ago, the acronym CMA stood for the ‘Civilian Maimed Association’ which then became ‘Community Morning Activities’. Popular though CMA has been, the name gives little indication to newcomers to the community of the potential for friendship and varied activities hidden behind it, hence ‘Mangawhai Social Seniors’.
“Although it sounds a bit like a dating agency, the new name will, we hope, attract those who are wanting to meet others and get away from routine in a supportive cheerful environment,” says group organiser Jo Roberts.
Some ‘old hands’ have been attending for years, involved since it began, saying they like to relax and have a laugh, and catch up with people. New to the district, another says they didn’t know a soul but it gave them confidence, and really enjoyed the range of activities. Her words are echoed by others, who cite the home baked morning tea and freshly made sandwiches as highlights, along with friends made.
Getting together in the Community Hall for morning tea and with most staying through until after lunch, those who meet play games, listen to speakers, join in quizzes, sing along with entertainers, go on outings or to the movies, or just sit, knit and natter. There is even an awards night, always a fun raffle. A small fee is paid for refreshments, and transport can be arranged for those who don’t drive.
Always on hand are ‘helpers’ who assist the less active, and join in the games, help with lunches or in the clean up when it’s time to go home. Helpers also like to be with people and feel appreciated.
“As a helper, I’ve found it very rewarding,” says Jane. “I thought it wouldn’t be my thing but I enjoy coming.”
Apart from Christmas lunch at the Tavern, the gatherings have now wrapped up for the year, with a marvellous musical concert put on by several talented young musicians.
n Mangawhai Social Seniors will begin again on Friday February 3, 2023. Feel free to join and feel welcome. Contact Jo Roberts 431 4711 or Julia Sutherland 431 4607 for more details.