As they approach their tenth anniversary next year, members of the Hazelbank-based Cosy Club celebrated the end of this year with their annual barbecue at Marianus Park on Thursday.
Just like the vibrant over 50s club itself, the barbecue was a hive of activity with plenty of laughter, great food and good conversation. Host and Cosy Club founder Christy O’Donnell was as dedicated as ever, despite having suffered a mild heart attack last weekend.
“It was a wee setback,” says Christy.
“But we look forward to this barbecue every year and I wasn’t going to miss it!”
Derry’s Mayor, Colr. Kevin Campbell, who attended the barbecue, praised the Cosy Club volunteers for their hard work within the local community.
“Groups like the Cosy Club are hidden gems, working constantly behind closed doors for the good of the areas they live in and the people around them. Often that work isn’t recognised and in times when we’re hearing about rioting and disturbances it’s good to know that we have people like this pulling together as a community and sharing their experiences to promote cohesion and bonding. It’s nice to see such positive things happening locally.”
Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Cosy Club co-ordinator, was delighted that the sun made a brief appearance for the group’s traditional shindig and said that while 2012 had brought sad times as well as good, the mood for 2013 is positive as the over 50s club looks ahead to anniversary celebrations.
“This is just a great way to end the year for us,” says Geraldine.
“Christy is so dedicated and always makes the annual barbecue a great success for everyone. As always, Cosy Club has had a brilliant year and all the members have enjoyed the different events we’ve held.
Sadly this year, two of our members, Margaret Rodgers and Alice McCallion, passed away. They’re missed by everyone here and that was the saddest part of this year for us.”
As the popular group approaches its tenth birthday, which coincides with Derry’s year as UK City of Culture, Geraldine is hopeful funding can be secured to mark the anniversary in a fitting way.
“We’d love to put a book together of Cosy Club memories down through the years and we’re hoping to make our 2013 AGM a really big event and maybe even host it in the Guildhall for the first time. We’re really excited about the possibilities for next year and we want to get the Cosy Club name out there and let people know what we’re all about.
“We did a bag packing event in Dunnes Stores recently and a lot of people who are over 50 and could be using the service as a way to get out and get to know people didn’t know about us. So that’s something we want to change in 2013, we’re always welcoming new members.”
For more information on the Cosy Club, contact Geraldine on 02871 370196.