Fellowship draws the community a little closer together
When the group of men from the Village of Tansley Woods who make up “The Old Boys Club” met Ron Schlegel during a visit to the Research Institute for Aging (RIA) Headquarters in Waterloo, he made a point of telling them he liked the club name.
Now in his 70s, the founder of Schlegel Villages sort of fits right in with the group, and he loves to meet with different people from within the villages he designed and created and learn from their experience.
“The Old Boys Club” is as active as any group from any village, explains one of the original members, George Pennie. It grew out of the realization he had one day as he rode the elevator that the programs geared towards women in the village seemed to far outnumber those offered for men. He’s lived in Burlington for 45 years and was a member of the Roseland Park Country Club in the city’s south end. In the 90s, when many of his fellow members retired, they came up with the idea of a men’s club that would meet every two weeks and plan small trips and excursions together. It was a way to connect with and learn from each other while remaining engaged in the community, and George figured the same idea would work at Tansley Woods.
In early 2016, about five months after moving to The Village, George and few fellow members of the residents’ council formed the club. Once a month since then, the group has gathered over coffee to share the biographical story of one of the members and plan for the upcoming monthly trip into the community. They’ve travelled to museums, manufacturing plants, wineries and even the school in Niagara Falls where people learn how to brew beer.
The trip to the RIA on August 15 was their latest venture. They toured the research labs, the Contestoga College Living Classrooms and listened to a presentation by Ron and his son Rob, Chief Financial Officer of RBJ Schlegel Holdings and Schlegel Villages.
“Who needs a government when you have people like that," remarked one gentleman after learning more about the roots of the Schlegel organization and the mission that guides its growth.
“The fellows really enjoyed it,” George says, of the RIA educational trip. “It’s really impressive work they’re doing.”
Like any trip, there is an educational component that keeps the “old boys” engaged, but it’s the camaraderie they find in the experience that makes it all worthwhile.
“On the bus, you hear all these guys talking to each and getting to know each other,” George says, and that’s how communities grow tighter. “In an apartment building most people don’t know who their neighbour is but in this place it’s like a family and this club, to me, is giving the opportunity for fellows to get to know each other better.”
Learn more about The Village of Tansley Woods