Submitted by Preston A. Shaw
Shrewsbury – Gentlemen. Are you senior citizen, retired, and looking for an opportunity to meet and interact with other guys? Would you like to fill a hole in your weekly routine? Perhaps you might want to come in and experience a meeting of the Shrewsbury Senior Men’s Club.
Every Thursday morning, this men’s group gathers at the Senior Center next to the Town Hall on Maple Avenue to enjoy coffee, donuts and good conversation with others. This gathering begins informally at 9 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., the group is called to order by longtime President Joe Montecalvo, and the week’s speaker is introduced. Following a short talk or video presentation, the floor is open for questions. The meeting is adjourned promptly at 10:30 a.m.
Speakers and programs this past year have covered a large number of topics. Town resident Bob Claflin talked about the restoration of antique cars. You may have seen some of his work as you pass his place on West Main Street. Retired Mass. State Police officers shared the ongoing development to the State Police Museum on Route 140 in Grafton. Jay Costa, the Shrewsbury Schools athletic director, spoke to the group before the Thanksgiving game, and again in the spring when he presented three very talented student-athletes from Shrewsbury High School. He talked about the exceptional athletic program in Shrewsbury and the talented athletes and scholars the program has produced. Dan Burns’ topic was the old trolley system that went through Shrewsbury and the bike path being planned for the old route. Boy Scout Troop 114 Scoutmaster Rick Spurr shared some wonderful stories about the activities Shrewsbury’s Scouts are involved in. His troop, with more than 100 Scouts, is celebrating its 100th year. Ron Goodrich, an antiques appraiser, talked about collectibles and actually appraised some items brought in by members.
In the area of health, Dr. Harvey Claremont addressed blood pressure and vital signs and how to lead a healthy life as a senior. Both Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis did bang-up jobs in separate meetings talking about the rampant opioid problem in central Mass. and about the fall ballot question relative to the legalization of marijuana. Michelle Miller, co-founder of the Central Mass. Lyme Disease Foundation, presented startling information to the group.
Additionally, the club receives annual updates on the town and surrounding towns from Town Manager Daniel Morgado discussing the budget, and Assistant Town Manager Kristen Las, sharing the town’s new Master Plan. Our State Representative Hannah Kane, R-Shrewsbury, and State Senator Michael Moore each dropped in with legislative updates. Kane and Moore, it should be noted, have teamed up to sponsor two very well-received luncheons held at the Senior Center during the year for all seniors. Wonderful buffets are served by culinary students from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. Ellen Dolan and Laurie Hogan provided an update on the progress of the library addition and renovation and Michael Hale from SELCO provided cable television updates.
Even members of the club have taken turns. Bob DeCoteau, a world traveler, presented a slideshow on a trip he took to North Korea, and another to the African Serengeti. DeCoteau is also a Red Sox Ambassador and a year ago took members on an absolutely wonderful private tour of Fenway Park, even getting us inside the Green Monster. Bill Davis, the program chair, took us back in time with a most interesting historical look at Shrewsbury and the town’s role in the Underground Railroad. Dr. John Collins shared his experiences of the Korean War. His son, Dr. Jack Collins, spoke about the state of Veteran’s Affairs in central and western Mass.
The club has also offered a couple of outings for members and spouses. One popular event is the trip to Rhode Island for a Pawtucket Red Sox game. In July there was another baseball game at Hanover Field at Holy Cross to see the Worcester Bravehearts. Still another trip had the group getting a wonderful tour at the Worcester Art Museum followed by lunch at Dino’s Restaurant.
For the first time since its inception 20 years ago, members voted to meet throughout the summer instead of ending in June and starting again in September. The decision has worked out well and all Thursday meetings have been well-attended. Why not give us a try? Come on in, introduce yourself to one of the guys and you will be welcomed.
The cost to join the Senior Men’s Club is a one-time $5. There is a weekly $2 charge for the coffee and donuts.
For more information, contact Preston A. Shaw at [email protected] or 508-344-1621.