Joyce Talboys and Elsie Wicks had expected the last meeting of the Golden Days Club today to be a quiet affair, but they were in for a surprise.
For Sue Szymanski, community development manager at The Centre in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds, felt the final fortnightly meeting of the 31-year-old club and the ‘retirement’ of its leaders should not go unmarked.
She organised a visit by St Edmundsbury mayor Julia Wakelem, bouquets for the pair and a special cake for members to share.
Club organiser and secretary Joyce said: “I didn’t expect anything today.”
Chairwoman Elsie added: “Everything was a surprise – the mayor, the bouquets.”
The club is closing because Joyce and Elsie say they are ‘getting on in years’ and have decided it is time to stop.
Joyce started as a helper when the club started, became secretary and then took over as organiser when the previous one stepped down. Elsie has been volunteering at the club for more than 20 years.
Joyce said: “We can’t get anybody to take over and both of us have had enough.
“We’ve tried to get somebody to take over but all these people are elderly.”
In its golden days it had 70 to 80 members and a waiting list but Joyce said: “Now, it’s dropped down to 20 because people in their 60s don’t want to come to ‘old’ people’s clubs anymore.”
They have a Christmas lunch on Wednesday as a final farewell.