A Brief History of the Happy Gang
We will endeavour to give you a brief chronological history of the Happy Gang.
How it started and where it is now!
On February 5, 1967 a group got together for an organizational meeting at the United Church in Strathmore. It was agreed that they would have meetings every two weeks at a different person’s home. The purpose was to socialize, eat and play card games. Perfect beginning. The United Church also agreed to donate the use of their hall at no charge.
By 1969 the Legion had donated the use of a room and meetings moved there.
In 1970 the Happy Gang members pursued through the Province of Alberta, getting a charter and being registered as a Society.
By 1974 membership had risen to 74.
The club membership kept growing, in 1976, the fees were raised to $2.00 per year.
Since more activities were being added, it was decided by the members, to try applying for grants with the hopes of getting the use of a clubhouse.
During 1980, A steering committee was formed and the Town built a Community Hall and Library with a club room on the south end of the bulding. This club room became the home of the Happy Gang.
In order to match the grants received, 27 members donated amounts between $25 and $1,000. This allowed the Happy Gang to furnish the new hall with a fridge, stove, tables, chairs, carpet, pool tables, shuffleboards and a piano. The club moved in in 1982.
By 1986 the club membership was now $12 and there were 96 members. The facility was open five days a week from 1 to 5 p.m.
At the April 8th, 1987 0f the Town Committee meeting, the subject was raised about adding on to the current club’s facility.
A short time later, approval was given and the addition was built with club funds and grants. All of this was raised by the Happy Gang to the tune of $104,000.
A few photos from the newspaper archives.
A couple of the construction in the works and a couple from the opening ceremonies.
Fast forward to 2013, the club wanted to remove the carpet and replace it with flooring more suitable for exercise classes. They also wanted to purchase a big screen TV for the exercise videos as well. During this time we hosted the Senior’s Games and a grant was awarded for our participation in that.
The grants allowed for the above as well as the purchase of a new commerical dishwasher and a fridge and also paid for some new cabinets to house items used by the exercise groups.
Moving on. in 2016/2017 the Town decided to expand the Library and move the FCSS offices. This necessitated a new entry and washrooms for the Happy Gang.
During these renovations, the Legion welcomed us and allowed us to use their facilities for out activities. We reciprocated with a donation.
For the last two years our membership has been over 180 and our facilities are used six days a week from basically 9:00 am to 4:30 pm five days a week and for line dancing on Saturdays.
In 2020 we replaced the dishwasher, the fridge and added another pool table all with available funds.
We have endeavoured to report times and events to the best of our ability.
If someone believes there are errors, we woud be glad to correct them upon proven facts.