Creating connections and making friends has long been the mandate of the
Mississauga Newcomers Club.
Words by Carolyn Gilbert

It’s 7:30 p.m. at the South Common Community Centre. Approximately forty people have gathered for activities that include a short skit, chair yoga and light refreshments.

The scene shifts to a Friday morning, where a group of women sit down at a Clarkson home for their “friendly rivalry” game of Scrabble.

Once again the scenario changes, this time to a Tuesday evening. The host of men’s bridge welcomes players to his residence.

These three events comprise a small portion of activities sponsored by the non-profit, all volunteer Mississauga Newcomers & Acorn Club, an organization formed in 1970 by several women. Open to both men and women today, it emphasizes friendship for newcomers as well as to those who recently underwent a lifestyle change.

Club president Nadjair Balkowski is a nine-year member originally from Brazil and says “It’s a good social club. When I moved here I was looking for ways to communicate.”

Members like the fact you can meet people from various countries as well as Canadians who hail from other parts of Ontario and provinces east and west of the “Yours to Discover” province.

Three-year member Laurie Landry moved to Mississauga from Ottawa. “I joined for the activities,” she says, “and I needed to meet people. I really enjoy it.” Landry’s activities have included golf, bowling and bridge, and coordinating a “Dining Out” group.

Lithuanian native Nijole Campbell joined Newcomers & Acorn when she retired. “I worked for years,” she says, “and my friends and social life involved people I worked with. There was a void when I retired.”

Longtime club member Jennie Mould suggested Campbell join the club’s bowling group and other events. Campbell is pleased she heeded Mould’s advice.

Although there are plenty of activities available, the club is always open to new suggestions. George Warren, a native of Sydney, N.S., can attest to that.

Warren, who moved to Mississauga two years ago, suggested a men’s breakfast group. “We meet monthly at local restaurants,” he notes. “It’s going well. We average about a dozen attendees at each breakfast.”

Astrid Dudler, who moved here from Switzerland in late 2010, says the club is a “great idea for meeting people.” She is already taking part in several activities and will be on a committee this coming year. Involvement creates connections and friendships for new members and it’s catching on.

Mississauga Newcomers & Acorn Club is an affiliate of the City of Mississauga, Recreation and Parks Department.
For more information, call Carolyn Gilbert at 289-997-4412.