At 58, Marianne Emmerton was on her own and looking to get out more.
“The kids are grown,” the newly single senior recalled thinking.
“They have lives of their own. I thought, ‘I have to do something.’”
Emmerton joined a book club, which, thanks to a member of that cub, led her to Singles Social Walking Club, a group for 55 and up seniors who get together Saturdays and Sundays, and statutory holidays, at 10 a.m. for a one-hour walk, followed by brunch.
“We have members from Delta, to Langley and Fort Langley to South Surrey, and White Rock,” an enthusiastic Emmerton said.
“Our walks cover all those areas.”
The South Surrey resident has been a club member for six years now.
Currently the club, now in its 25th year, has close to 80 members, all 55 and up, Emmerton said.
For Emmerton, now 65, a self-described “very active,’ person, the club was a good fit, with walks offering different paces and different levels of difficulty, and, most importantly, a low-stress way to meet other people for socializing.
“It’s a safe way to do it,” Emmerton said.
“You’re not meeting someone alone.”
It is an all-volunteer run group that counts on members to suggest and organize activities.
In addition to walks, events include picnics, BBQ’s, bowling, games nights, movie nights, mini-golf afternoons, archery, monthly birthday dinners, Halloween parties, annual Christmas Dinner/Dance. There’s even a golf group which enjoys Friday evenings “Nine and Dine” at Surrey Golf Course. Nine holes of golf followed by socializing, drinks and/or dinner.
One popular outing are movie nights, usually at the Colossus movie theatres in Langley, with a meal at the nearby Old Spaghetti Factory.
“We try to find places that have very economical prices,” Emmerton assured.
Membership fees are $20 which go toward the club’s annual Christmas party at the Surrey Golf Club.
“It’s a dinner dance. We usually have Santa there.”
When the Club was started, back in 1998, it was originally called “Mingle with Singles Walking Club,” a walking and social group for 40-plus singles.
Diane Stoney, 68, is one of six original founding club members who are still in the club.
“I started the second week it started,” Stoney said.
“I’ve always enjoyed walking.”
Stoney described it as “primarily a walking club,” but one that has also offered a “wide variety of social stuff” that has been trimmed back because of the pandemic’s impact.
“Everybody’s world changed [when COVID hit],” Stoney explained, and the club is hoping to rebuild those programs.
Over time, the name has changed, first to “Mingle with Singles Walking Club”, then the “Sensational Singles Walking Club” or SSWC, and finally — keeping the initials but changing the wording — to “Singles Social Walking Club” (SSWC).
As the demographics of the group changed, the age bracket for new members has kept pace with the average age of the group, and is currently 55 plus.
READ ALSO: Langley seniors walking club keeps going despite poor weather
“This is a wonderful club, where life-long friendships are made, you can get out for fresh air and exercise, and have fun without breaking the bank” Emmerton summarized.
“There’s always someone you can walk with,” Emmerton commented.
Close, supportive friendships are often formed.
“When things are tough and you need help, we’re there for you,” she said.
‘“When things go upside down, it’s nice to know there are people there for you.”
READ ALSO: 500 take part in Langley Walk
Newcomers are invited to try the club free for a month.
Contact the club via email: email@example.com or by phone at 604-790-5206.
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