Monday, July 15, 2024

And dance they did…

Glen Hartle
Otter Lake February 18, 2022
The Otter Lake 50 Plus Club hosted their annual-when-it’s-not-covid Valentine Dinner & Dance at the Raymond Johnston Centre on February 18. It was a sold-out affair well over a month beforehand and that same enthusiasm carried forward to and through the event.
A sea of red greeted anyone arriving close to the published 5:00 p.m. start time as the recreation centre had already filled considerably by that point with thematically-attired enthusiasts. This was an event where you wanted a good seat with enough room for you and your entourage, and that meant being early.
Club president Janet Lafleur was proud to kick things off with the usual announcements of where to find food, drink & amenities, and to randomly send happy tables to the buffet.
All in all, there were some 160 or so folks in attendance and an orderly approach was the only way forward. Lafleur and her team of some 20 volunteers made it look easy and this was reflected in the laughter and chatter from all corners of the festively decorated hall.
Now, food was only half of the equation. Once the crumbs had cleared and the chafing dishes had been put away, the more animated portion of the evening took hold with local musicians Classic Rhythm leading the way with their rendering of a long list of country and rock & roll favourites through the ages. Vocals were shared with lead Lily, channeling Cher with her shortened show name, while Robert Beaudoin joined in on drums, Denis St-Jean on base guitar and Rob Dillon on rhythm. Together, they brought the room to their feet and worked to keep them there.
Club founder Denise Dubois took stage to great applause and delivered the evening’s must-dance version of Lucille Starr’s 1964 hit “The French Song” (otherwise known as Quand le Soleil Dit Bonjour aux Montagnes). There is no denying either the appeal of her presence or her delivery as almost every chair was vacated for the dance floor.
Guest vocalists also included Angela Villeneuve and Reg Carkner.
The canteen was hopping throughout with proceeds going toward the installation of a community splash pad later this summer. A valentine gift for future generations.
If you are a planner, mark September 16 on your calendars as the next big event for this club of activity-and-fellowship-minded celebrants as they play host to the popular Plager Boy’s. And if you can’t wait until then, consider joining their ranks and participating in their plethora of weekly activities including cards, darts, petanque-atout, exercise sessions and dinner gatherings. All they ask is that you join in their shared purpose of friendship, fellowship and neighbourly courtesies. More info can be found at

Revellers take a break from dancing for a group photo.
Club members Steward Schwartz, Nancy Pirie and Richard Dubois.


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