Seniors’ society may be without executive leadership for a while

The Union of Northern Workers Local 6 made a $2,500 donation to the Hay River Seniors' Society on April 14. Local president Melvin Larocque, left, presented a cheque to John Brockway, the outgoing president of the society. The money is to assist with various initiatives of the society, including sending some members to the 2016 Canada 55+ Games in Ontario in August.

The Union of Northern Workers Local 6 made a $2,500 donation to the Hay River Seniors’ Society on April 14. Local president Melvin Larocque, left, presented a cheque to John Brockway, the outgoing president of the society. The money is to assist with various initiatives of the society, including sending some members to the 2016 Canada 55+ Games in Ontario in August.

The Hay River Seniors’ Society may be without an executive for a couple of months.

At the organization’s annual general meeting on April 21, nine directors were chosen for the board.

However, it appears the society will be without a president and other members of an executive until the new directors can get together and decide who that will be.

A few of the new directors – who were selected after previously expressing their interest in serving on the board – are out of the community and won’t be returning for up to two months.

Those nominated as directors at the annual general meeting are Marion Smith, Tom Makepeace, Nancy Makepeace, Bruce Green, Marge Osted, Doris Caudron, Betty Robinson, Paul Rose and Ann Firth-Jones.

The lack of an executive caused some concern at the meeting.

“When do they get together to decide who does what?” asked society member Minnie Butt. “It’s kind of being uncertain, and no one knows what they’re doing. It’s kind of sad.”

John Brockway, the outgoing president of the society, said no decision can be made until the absent directors return.

One society member suggested Brockway stay on until a new executive is chosen but he declined.

“As of tonight, I’m finished,” he said.

Brockway had been president for two years.

Speaking to The Hub after the meeting, he suggested that perhaps the new directors might elect an interim president until they can all get together to elect a president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary.

During the meeting, there was also discussion about how the society’s work was being distributed, especially the operation of its clubroom at Whispering Willows Seniors Complex.

“I would just like to say that whoever gets on the executive, you’ve got to be willing to do something,” said Brockway. “There’s lots of work here.”

That work includes preparing the clubroom for events, including rentals.

“We need some new members to step up and do something,” said Brockway.

Society members provided some ideas on how the work can be better distributed.

“In my opinion, there’s no need for the executive to do it all,” said Marge Osted, a board director. “There are other members of the seniors’ society who are able to do the work.”

Osted suggested some workers might even be hired.

Brockway said that has been tried without success in the past.

Other members suggested calling members to encourage them to help out with the work.

Brockway responded that a phoning list has also been tried before.

The outgoing president said that, while the Hay River Seniors’ Society has 120 registered members, only a maximum of 30 ever show up for events.

The organization is for people 50 years of age and older.

–Paul Bickford