We decided to take up the offer from the Renmore Group (A.R.R.A.). They meet every Thursday at 10:30am in Liam Mellowes Memorial GAA Centre down on the seafront. We arrived to find a roaring fire blazing and paid our £1 entry fee and were immediately welcomed by about sixty young at heart elderly ladies and gentlemen and invited to have tea/coffee and biscuits. When we all settled down we had an up to date report from the Secretary on the various activities going on and then our main speaker for the morning was a local solicitor who advised us on the importance of making a will. The future speakers planned are the Bank of Ireland—Budgeting; Western Management—part-time work suggestions and advice; Environment—Landfill sites; Litter and what to do about it; the Sky at Night and a repeat visit from Ann McKeown to help with our gardening problems.
They have a walkers section and the Musical Appreciation enthusiasts are just about to start a second course. The following week a coach load visited Dáil Eireann and had lunch with Pauric McCormack there. Needless to say we went to the Treasurer and paid our Annual subscription of £10. Guests may attend twice, but then must become members and only paid up members may join in the activities. There is a monthly visit to the Town Hall Theatre on Friday afternoons to see one of the good old films—this month’s choice was Arsenic & Old Lace—£1 per ticket. A four day visit to Baltimore, Co. Cork is planned for March.
I was thrilled that my name was one of those that came out of the hat for a place on the next Basics Computers course—20 sessions for £10 starting in January in Galway Tech. The club is organised and run by an elected committee, and each activity has a separate small committee. They even have a transport organiser and everyone takes turns tea making and washing up and tidying.
The Christmas lunch was held in the Menlo Park Hotel and started with a Mulled Wine Reception and a thoroughly enjoyable night was had by all. Is it any wonder that they are called Young at Heart! The choir has been up twice to sing in John Paul II centre—our local charity—and Christmas presents for the forgotten few there and separate personal cards were given.
It has been organised that a busload of Young At Heart people from Omagh will come for a 3 day visit in May. They will have B.&B in members’ homes and dinners and bus runs will be organised. While children and young adults from Omagh have received invitations, this is the first time the older generation has been catered for.
Do you think an organisation like this could get off the ground in Claregalway? Remember it would be us working and organising for ourselves and not expecting the younger members of the community to work for us. Advice and help would be available. Think about it.