Broken Bago Day Club celebrated its first birthday in March of this year. Chrissy Jones had the pleasure of chatting with Gail Stoker about the Club, its aims and how it helps many in our community.
What is the Broken Bago Day Club – what do you do?
We believe our club provides an important and unique community service open to men and women, with a structured weekly program. It provides a day out for those people who are isolated either because they are without family, or are new to the area, or simply wish to have an enjoyable day out. Our motto is ‘Making a difference to the lives of older people in our community’.
We are a financially independent, not-for-profit organisation.
When was the Broken Bago Day Club established?
The club originally began in Wauchope in 1982 until it closed in 2010, as the volunteers who had been running the club since its opening in 1982 could no longer continue.
Thanks to our local newspaper, the Wauchope Gazette, reporting the need for new volunteers to restart the Day Club, a 4-day training session was run by DVA for interested volunteers. The new Broken Bago Day Club was opened on March 24, 2011.
The Day Club is a joint venture between the Wauchope RSL Sub-branch and the Australian Government Department of Veterans Affairs (NSW Office). Proudly sponsored by the Wauchope RSL Club Sub-Branch, which not only provides a room free of charge, but also the club bus free of charge to pick up and return home our Day Club members who require transport. We appreciate our volunteer bus drivers and conductors who assist each week.
What are the aims of the Club?
The purpose of the Day Club is to make a difference in the lives of older independent people in our community, by offering a fun, social, enjoyable day including a diverse range of stimulating activities to enhance the overall health, wellbeing and quality of life, both to its members and volunteers.
It also promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing healthy lunches from the bistro and relevant guest speakers, whose topics cover a wide range of ageing issues, along with light entertainment.
Tell us a bit about the History of RSL Day Clubs.When did they start and why?
In the early 1970s, a large group of veterans was attending an Occupational Therapy outpatient program at Concord Hospital. The Occupational Therapists supervising the program noticed that their patients were benefiting from the social interaction, even when they no longer needed treatment. It was determined that community-based centres would be better able to fulfil the need for social programs.
In 1974, the DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) approached the RSL with a view to establishing volunteer-organised, community-based centres. The first Club started in August 1977 at Miranda.
Today, a vast ‘family’ of RSL Day Clubs operate in city and country areas all over Australia. This year, 2012, is the 35th anniversary of the establishment of Day Clubs.
What does a day at the Club involve?
We begin with morning tea provided by the RSL Club, followed by light exercises; it is optional to sit or stand. Then mental stimulation exercises, which include quizzes, word games, reminiscing and general discussion. We also have theme days and guest speakers. We hope to inform our members about what is available in their local community.
After lunch, we play various board games, cards or dominoes for fun, followed usually by our ‘chocolate game’ (our members do like to have a little treat to take home).
The Club has just started having a trading table, where members bring in items that are purchased by other members, and the proceeds go to the day to day running of the club.
How did Broken Bago Day Club include their first birthday celebrations in the recent Lasiandra Festival?
In March of this year, we joined in Wauchope’s Annual Lasiandra Festival with our new club’s first birthday celebrations. All members dressed in purple, and the Lasiandra Festival Committee presented our Best Dressed award to Melba Gribble, who is a cheerful and healthy 93 years old.
Tables were decorated with pink and purple serviettes, and an arrangement of Lasiandra was on each table. A wonderful day was had by all who attended.
How can people become a member or volunteer?
The Broken Bago Day Club welcomes all adults to come along to see what we do. We meet each Thursday between 10am and 2pm at the Wauchope RSL Club, corner of Young and Cameron Streets, Wauchope.
It costs just $2 at the door in support of running the Day Club. Members can purchase the RSL special $5 lunch of their choice. We also have a raffle, with several beautiful prizes drawn each week.
For further information, contact Gail on 6585 6776 or Janelle 0479 154 737.