Different strokes for different blokes

Blokes Lounge gives senior men on Gold Coast a place to go

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GREAT MATES: Don (fourth from left) with members of the Blokes Lounge walking group.

GREAT MATES: Don (fourth from left) with members of the Blokes Lounge walking group.

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Blokes Lounge gave Don McQuitty a place to go as he dealt with the loss of his wife.

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WHETHER they are at a loose end, or looking to get out from under the wife's feet, the Blokes Lounge helps men in the Gold Coast area fill their days.

Since 2012 the lounge has provided a welcoming environment where blokes from all walks of life can get together.

It hosts monthly meetings at the Star Tavern, often featuring talks from a guest speaker, as well as fortnightly lunch gatherings.

It also coordinates a number of groups where blokes can get together to make friends, share stories and get involved in a range of recreational and social activities.

Committee member Don McQuitty said the lounge provided a casual environment for blokes to get together.

"Our motto is you can do as much as you like, or as little as you like. The casualness of the group really appealed to me," he said.

Don first learnt about the lounge while reading a copy of The Senior around 2 years ago, shortly after losing his wife Janice.

"I went to the Helensvale shops with my granddaughter (Georgia). I was waiting for her to get her fingernails painted, picked up copy of the paper and there was an article about it," he said.

He called the contact number when he got home and by the time he got off the phone, he had decided to join.

"I was by myself and I wanted something to do. They are just a bunch of normal Aussie blokes, as rough as guts, but good company and they will do things with you."

While Don still has a lot of family living close by, the lounge is an even more vital lifeline to members who are dealing with social isolation.

It has quite a large number of members who moved to the Gold Coast area from Melbourne and don't have other friends or family close by.

The group is not just for the lonely or isolated though, all blokes are welcome to join.

"The group's also very attractive to old blokes who've retired and end up getting under their wives' feet and getting into trouble," Don said.

"It gives them a chance to get out and join in some activities."

While the lounge is a group for men, it's not always strictly men only, with some members bringing their wives along for day cruises and group barbecues.

The group offers many activities including cards, a book swap group, golf, tennis, bare foot bowls, table tennis, cycling, snooker and a social group that meets for coffee.

The group also has some tech minded members, boasting a group where members discuss apps and computers, a Zoom group and one new member is looking to start a group to teach how to fly drones.

Don was initially a member of the darts group, but stopped participating in it when he started losing eyesight.

"I didn't want to skewer someone at the bar," he said.

He still participates in the Thursday morning walking group. The group meets at Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club, before walking along Broadbeach and up to Northcliffe.

After the walk is complete, members stop at Lola's Cafe for a bargain brekkie and a chat.

Don said the initial membership fee is $35, but many of the activities are free excluding drinks and food, while others charge a minimal fee.

For more information click here.

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