Card parties popular social events on the North Shore

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Tatamagouche and area notebook, Ellen Millard

A group of folks were sitting around card tables on Oct. 5 at the cozy Denmark hall enjoying an evening of card playing. Both crib and auction 45’s were the games of choice as 18 people took part in the first card party of the season in Denmark.

The hall is located next door to Forbes Brothers Furniture Store.

“We always have a 50/50 draw for a cash prize and that adds a bit more to the fun,” said spokesperson Nora Sutherland. All funds earned go towards the expenses and upkeep of the hall. Prizes and lunch are always donated by members of the community. Card parties start at 7:30 p.m. and are held every second Saturday evening. Sutherland said the last one for the year 2013 will be held on Nov. 30.

Looking back in history, the late Hilda Giles Langille said in her book, A Story of Denmark, “Denmark never had a church but in the late 1890s Sandy MacKay was instrumental in getting people together to build a community hall”.

MacKay at that time was living in a boarding house run by a Mrs. Fraser and her house was just across the road from Denmark hall. He also worked on the Fraser family farm. The proposed site for the Denmark hall was just across from Fraser’s home and since MacKay was a carpenter, he oversaw the construction of the hall. Denmark hall was completed and opened in 1900 and was then named the Maple Leaf Hall. The Honourable F.McClure MP, gave the opening address and a framed picture of Queen Victoria was donated to the hall by W.H. Holmes.

Card parties are also held in several other halls on the North Shore. Bayhead hall hosts card parties on the first and third Tuesday in each month. They will continue according to attendance at the parties.

At Roach Hall, the Hills of Annan group host a card party the second and fourth Friday of each month while the North Shore Seniors group hosts card parties the first and third of each month. Both start at 7:30 p.m. and lunch and prizes are always provided.

Willow Lodge Home for Special Care is holding a special card party at the lodge on Friday evening Oct. 18 and everybody is welcome to attend. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. and folks are encouraged to join with the residents for an evening of fun. For more information about this special event, call Willow Lodge at 657-3101.

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Two generations of folks are getting to enjoy one another’s company at Willow Lodge Home for Special Care in Tatamagouche. Once a month a group of Grade 5 students from Tatamagouche Elementary School visit the Lodge to spend time with a special person they are paired with and do art projects with them.

 Activity spokesperson Shelly LeFresne said “We had this one-on-one program last year and it was very successful”.

Last year there were several displays in the hall of art that the youth and older folks in the home for special care had crafted together and residents often proudly pointed them out to visitors and family who came to the lodge. Watch for new projects when you visit the home.

Ellen Millard is a historian, author and longtime resident of Sand Point, near Tatamagouche. Email her at millards@nncweb.ca.

 

 

Organizations: Forbes Brothers Furniture Store, Tatamagouche Elementary School

Geographic location: Denmark, Tatamagouche, North Shore Sand Point

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