A flamboyance of flamingos came together in July to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cornwall Newcomers Club, a group that welcomes new Cornwall and SDG residents who have moved to the area within the last four years.
The Cornwall Newcomers Club is a branch of National Newcomers Canada, a non-profit organization made up of over 50 newcomers and alumni/ae clubs representing 6000+ members from across Canada. Our local chapter was founded in 1998 by Lorraine Alguire, host of the 25th anniversary reunion this year, and six young mothers.
“When you move here, you know no one. I came here in 2012. I saw a write-up in the paper, and I went to the meeting. I met ladies that walked past my house in Quebec that I didn’t know and now we’re best friends,” shared Gail Howell, a member who has held various positions within the club over the last ten years, “It’s the greatest thing. We meet new people all the time.”
After moving to Cornwall and SDG, new residents have approximately four years to join the Cornwall Newcomers Club. At one time, the club had reached 70 members, but their numbers have gone down somewhat since Covid.
The Cornwall Newcomers Club is an active organization with monthly dinner meetings, a yearly Christmas Party, a themed potluck every summer, and activities during the month. There is a signup sheet where ladies volunteer to be a hostess for euchre, scrabble, or stitch and chat.
This year’s celebration was a flamingo-themed ‘Silver Jubilee’. Members took part in a potluck, with contests for best dressed man and woman, games, and more. The party’s 13 flamingos (and offspring) were designed by Cornwall artist Linda Phillips, who won the top award at the 2019 Massena Artists Association Annual Juried Art Show for her painting, Pink Iris.
“I’ve been here for five minutes, maybe ten minutes, and I’ve met people from across the province, Quebec, everywhere else. This is great,” said Mayor Towndale, who took time out of his busy day to congratulate the club on their anniversary, “To hear that you’ve been doing this for 25 years is incredible. To survive 25 years, especially through Covid, takes a lot of commitment and gumption and you should be commended for that.”
“This is what we want in our community. We want organizations like this that welcome people who moved here who realize this is a fantastic part of the province and country to live in. We are lucky,” added Towndale.