One afternoon in August, 1959 a group of older New London women, among them being: Mabel Dowd, her sister, Lucy Collingwood, Kate Knapp, Vi Brown, Virginia Siddell and some others met to organize meetings once a month for elderly people.
Mable Dowd and Kate Knapp bought post cards and sent them to friends and acquaintances who might be interested. The card contained the time, place and purpose of the meetings.
The first meetings were held at the W.R.C. Hall. This was reached by a stairway over Eunice and Harvey Hall's store on South Main Street. They called the group "Senior Citizens" Only a few meetings were held as they had to pay $5.00 for the use of the hall. Rev. Ruby told the group they could meet at the First Methodist Church without charge.
Programs for social and local talent gave the meetings a little more interest and enjoyment. Only women attended the first meetings but later husbands and gentleman friends were invited with meetings held in the evenings. The second Tuesday of each month was set up as the date of the meetings.
The first meeting on record was April 11th, 1960 at the W.R.C. Hall. In 1961 there were 51 members and the first check consisting of $81.06 was deposited. The first Pesident was Roy Stoner. Secretary and Treasurer was Mable Dowd. The name was then changed to "The Golden Age Club". In 1962 a meeting was held at the New London Grange Hall. It was voted then to pay a annual Fee of $2.00 dues in February. A reading was given by Wilma Rumbaugh; also a contest by John Merrell -- Ruth McConnell and Henry Sidell proved the smartest. Mr Sidell, on behalf of the club, presented a gift to the newlywed, Kate Knapp, who had become Mrs. Harley Long.
In 1964 Fred Wilcox made a cupboard to keep dishes and other supplies in and we are still using the cupboard yet today. Albert Parker invited the club to the Fourth of July Parade at Rochester. All rode on a hay wagon decorated by Wesley Gremore and it won second prize.
In 1965 Fred Wilcox was elected President. 39 members went on a trip to East Liverpool, Ohio and toured three china plants. It was voted $10.00 be sent to the Retarded Program. In 1971 the group first received $50.00 from the United Community Fund. Norma Goodman was elected President in 1974. Laura Smith gave a reading "Life begins at 40". Fay O'Dell donated three months of rent for the Hall. Clarence Rounds became President in 1977. Starting in 1979 meetings were held in the Firelands Electric Building. Betty Myers was elected President that year. Norma Goodman was again elected President in 1981.
In January 1983 meetings were held at the Senior Nutrition Site until April. After that it was decided to hold the meetings in the American Legion Hall where the meetings are still held yet today. Trips became a big part of the Club. Some of the places enjoyed were as follows: Cleveland Flower Show, Sea World, Ice Capades, Zoo, Boat trips and the State Fair in Columbus.
We are always looking for different types of entertainment at our meetings, and games and home talent also make good entertainment. Our potluck dinners are always the best, and no one goes home hungry! Additional places visited have been Quaker Square in Akron, the Amish Country and Roscoe Village near Coshocton.
In 1984 officers were as follows: Norma Goodman, President; Eileen Kaylor, Vice President; Laura Smith, Treasurer; Ethel Hodges, Secretary. A "new" Entertainment Committee of Alice Cole and Eileen Kaylor was chosen to plan future trips. All Senior Citizens are invited to attend our Golden Agers meetings held on the second Wednesday of each month at the American Legion Hall with a potluck dinner to begin at Noon.
Written by Dora Arnet, Vaughn Neel