History of Our Chapter
Prime Timers Nanaimo was started by Bob Harkabus and George Loepp in August 2016, with the help of Prime Timers World Wide. Bob and George placed an ad in the Nanaimo Daily News and attracted 12 men to the organizing meeting at the L'Association des francophones de Nanaimo (The Francophone Center of Nanaimo). Bob was the acting President and George the acting Secretary/Treasurer for 2016 and they guided us through our first year.
For 2017, a new Board of Directors was elected with Rick Amelotte as President, Wiley Fargen as Vice President, Don Gillett as Secretary/Treasurer, Doug Paterson as Newletter Editor and Bob Harabus and George Loepp as Directors at Large.
2017 was a year of experimentation. We tried monthly meetings, rotating coffee locations, rotating pub nights, potlucks, various daytrips, pride events and a Facebook page. The monthly meetings were poorly attended and were scrapped. Although the rotating coffee mornings and pub nights drew acceptable attendance, we found that having fixed locations and dates and times increased attendance. The potlucks attracted about a third of the chapter and we wanted to have more. The daytrips were popular and more were requested. Attendance at the Nanaimo Pride Festival and the Salt Spring Island Parade was good, although we did not plan sufficiently in advance. Doug Paterson did a super job with communications through an improved newsletter and the addition of Weekly email updates. The Facebook page was followed by only a few members and friends and we decided to end it and use the newsletter and news updates as our means of communication. For 2017, the chapter grew from 12 to 27 members.
For 2018, a new Board of Directors was elected with Wiley Fargen as President, Doug Paterson as Vice President, Don Gillett as Secretary/Treasurer, Doug MacIntyre as Event Coordinator/Newletter Editor and Bob Harabus, George Loepp and Bert Mountney as Directors at Large.
We dispensed with the monthly meetings altogether, fixed the coffee and pub nights and arranged more outings for live, theater, ballet and opera. We continue to experiment with new activities and new venues. To focus on the development of our events, we dedicated a Director to coordinating events. Along with a number of improvements to the newsletter, we launched this website. Although the newsletter and news updates are effective means of communicating with existing members and friends, its effectiveness was limited to existing members and friends and those they passed it along to (the email version of word of mouth). we hope the website will allow us to reach other people in our area of coverage, who don't frequent our central core of Nanaimo. For 2018, the chapter grew from 27 to 39 members.
For 2019, a new Board of Directors was elected with Wiley Fargen as President, Bruce Mason as Vice President and Event Coordinator, Don Gillett as Secretary/Treasurer and News Editor, Bob Harabus and George Loepp as Directors at Large and Interests Coordinator and Paul Tilroe as Director at Large and Associate Webmaster.