A group that's called itself The Senators has been getting together for the last 25 years in Portage la Prairie. They were at the Herman Prior Activity Centre last week, and we were able to interview the gathering of seniors.

Ray Wiebe is one of the members and says they always meet at the golf course every summer from April to October. 

"Then at one time, we were meeting at the Curling Club during the winter," says Wiebe. "That was closed down with different changes being made, and we went into the Canad Inns and we were there up until COVID, I guess. And then, we approached the Herman Prior Activity Centre and asked if they could put up with us. So, we're now here five mornings a week and it's the same stories every day; you know, with our memory, it's always new news."

He notes they enjoy the camaraderie and always have fun each morning. 

Wiebe says the golf course usually opens up again at around the 15th of April, and they'll make their way to that site once that date arrives.

"A few of the guys still play golf, and the rest of us talk about how bad they're playing," continues Wiebe. "Politics comes up occasionally, and it's sort of a lopsided membership when it's in the numbers as to which parties are being supported. There are, maybe, one or two on the one side, and the rest of us. So, they have to be pretty thick-skinned."

Ray WiebeRay Wiebe

Wiebe says one member is a retired contractor, giving them ample opportunity to pick his brain about local construction projects. 

"The hospital construction and the Saskatchewan Ave. project are two projects that come up almost every morning," says Wiebe. "So, a lot of the stuff is general, and sometimes about family. You never know what's going to be up with COVID and everything else. We're pretty well out of it (the pandemic) for the most part, but there are still a few of us who have been down and out with COVID, even this year. You have to look after each other." 

He notes the guys who get involved are those whom they've known for many years, along with some new people who've retired and are checking it out to see if they have the right thickness of skin to handle the discussions.  

"Yes, there are some good issues at times, but everybody comes out of it okay."

He says anyone is more than welcome to join them, noting it's a very open table. Wiebe says some men joined them for the first time in 2023.

"Today, I think we've got about 12 men, but you know, that number, 8 to 15, would be a good guess. 9:00 a.m. And being seniors, most of them are here at 5 minutes to 9:00."

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