Something Social: South Delta Newcomers and Alumni
When Holly Hastie moved to Tsawwassen from Saskatchewan six years ago she was afraid of the big city and didn’t really know anybody in town.
That all changed when she joined the South Delta Newcomers and Alumni, the unofficial welcome wagon for new female residents, by existing female residents.
The group tells the newcomers about where the dentist and doctor offices are located, good places to eat and shop, and generally makes them feel at home. Today, Holly is a member of the alumni who welcomes newcomers, remembering what her own experience was like.
“We describe to them what the organization can provide to them and we show them the sign-up sheets, we introduce them to other executive members, talk about the ongoing activities,” says the past-president and former social coordinator.
The South Delta Newcomers and Alumni offers a multitude of fun activities like book clubs, cycling, tea and coffee parties, knitting, ladies or couples bridge, movie outings, walking groups and even tours to Vancouver.
Holly says she took a deep breath and went on a walking tour of Vancouver with others from the organization. As it turned out, the big city wasn’t so scary with friends along.
The current president, Linda Rigby, joined the organization in November 2011 after having moved into the community as a recently retired person.
At first she didn’t know about the Newcomers and Alumni, but during a visit to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary with the Elder College she thought it might be interesting.
“I was looking for new people to do things with an organization that had a really varied group of activities,” she recalls. “What happened for me was I started walking but then I met other people that introduced me to a wider variety of people so it expanded my social group.”
For a newly widowed woman, Linda says finding the Newcomers and Alumni was a great way to find people with common social interests.
Heather Pattullo, who coordinates speakers for each meeting, moved from Vancouver into South Delta in July of 2013, but it wasn’t until April of the next year that she found out about the organization.
“I went and the first person I met walked up to me and said I know you. You’re my best friend’s friend, you work together. That was nice to know somebody.”
You may attend two consecutive meetings of the South Delta Newcomers and Alumni as a guest, after which you will be requested to join at an annual fee of $25 per year. General meetings are held the third Thursday of every month from September to June at the Kiwanis Longhouse Centre for the Visual Arts starting at 7:15 p.m.