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Something Social: Tsawwassen Order of Old Bastards

dsc_4848You can’t stop getting older but becoming an “old bastard”is a choice, one that Tsawwassen resident David Fredricksen made happily six years ago.

The current president of the Tsawwassen Order of Old Bastards (TOOB) was asked to join by a former president (arch bastard) and the name has never ceased to tickle and delight its membership.

“People who are not familiar with TOOB come up and ask us what the name stands for and we always get a good laugh out of them when we tell them,” says David. “The origins are lighthearted and I think that’s carried forward to the people who are attracted to joining the club.”

The origins of TOOB date back to the fall of 1984 over pints at the local Rose and Crown pub, where watering hole regular Wally Hill suggested giving back to the community. The idea was simple: Gathering a bunch of likeminded men for the express purpose of ensuring nobody in
Tsawwassen, Ladner or Point Roberts would go hungry during Christmas dinner.

Some time previous to this Wally had met a visitor from Australia belonging to an organization calling themselves the International Order of Old Bastards. And so the Bastards were born here in South Delta.

Up until 2000, the Order’s main mandate was delivering up to 140 Christmas grocery hampers each year, but that has since been turned over to Deltassist. These days TOOB has used community donations to support local causes and organizations such as community centres, hospice, REACH Society, the hospital and dozens of others.

You can expect to see TOOB at Ladner BandFest in June or the Tsawwassen Sun Festival in August, cooking up hamburgers, smokies and their famous curly fries.

David acknowledges there are other service clubs like the Tsawwassen-Boundary Bay Lions and Rotary International, both of which do great work in the community. But he says one thing that appeals to TOOB members is there aren’t meetings to attend.

“Our people tend to like the fact they come out anywhere from three to seven times per year to actively work to raise funds to give back to the community,” explains David.

So, what does it take to make a good Bastard? Many of their members are like David, transitioning from full-time work to part-time or retirement, and are looking to increase their social circle as they age out of the workforce.

“One of the things you want to do when you retire is to increase your circles of friends and associates because many studies have shown that if you have that large circle of different associates you live longer and you live happier. And I’ve met many wonderful people I’d never have met had it not been for TOOB and I’ve enjoyed it.”

But David reminds me that despite the name, their organization doesn’t require anybody to be “old” or a “bastard.” They have always accepted younger people, with some members joining in their early thirties, and they even opened up their ranks to female members in 2015.

Since allowing the ladies to come on board, David says they now comprise 20 percent of the total membership, a feat accomplished in just a 15 month period.

Prospective Bastards can visit toobnews.ca to learn more or to reach out for membership information.

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