Plea for new Joan or Darby as chief quits after 40 years

The Oxford Times: Pat Jarvis, centre, who is stepping down as leader of the Steventon Darby and Joan Club, is presented with a bouquet of flowers by committee members Audrey Keeler, left, and Hilda Jones. Picture: OX63543 David Fleming Buy this photo » Pat Jarvis, centre, who is stepping down as leader of the Steventon Darby and Joan Club, is presented with a bouquet of flowers by committee members Audrey Keeler, left, and Hilda Jones. Picture: OX63543 David Fleming

A POPULAR social club for over 60s is calling for a new leader to keep it going.

Grandmother-of-five Pat Jarvis, 77, has been running the Darby and Joan Club in the village hall in Steventon, near Abingdon, for more than 35 years.

But the retired secretary, from Chapel Street, Steventon, is stepping down from the post at the end of this year.

The club is calling for someone to fill the post for 2014.

Mrs Jarvis said: “I have really enjoyed being leader of the club over the last 35 years and am sorry that I have to give up.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed it and don’t want it to fall through.

“I intend to continue to come to the meetings to be with them all.

“I feel I have done enough and I am 77 now so I think someone younger might want to do it.”

The club, which was formed in 1952, meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month from 2pm until 4pm and it has almost 50 members.

Elderly residents of the village meet to play cards, bingo, dominos, and knit blankets.

They also donate to hospitals and nursing homes and organise day trips around England four or five times a year.

Mrs Jarvis said: “Some people stay in their homes and don’t get out very often. We pick some of them up and they get to see friends and have a chat. They really enjoy it.”

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A £5 annual fee, raffles, and an annual sale held at the hall in September, which raises £700 to £900, pays for the club’s expenses and hall hire.

Mrs Jarvis’ husband Jack Jarvis, 79, said: “Pat reluctantly decided it is time someone else took over.

“There is a very good band of helpers but none are willing to be leader, which is understandable as most of them are over 70.

“Age is not a problem for the new leader, but it would be good if someone was willing, say in their fifties.”

Any Steventon residents interested in running the club is asked to call Mr Jarvis on 01235 831395.

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