By Jim Timlick
There are few things Lindsay enjoys more than grabbing a good cup of coffee or sharing stories with friends and family.
So, when he retired last year it made sense to those who knew him that he might be interested in combining his two interests. He was so interested, in fact, he started mulling over the idea of starting a coffee club for himself and other retirees so they could meet up regularly for a cup of joe and a little conversation.
Lindsay and his Disability Support Worker, Shaun, recently visited a local restaurant to test drive the concept and see how it might work. Preliminary results were encouraging to say the least.
“In no time at all he was making friends with the people around him,” says Sarah Hauptkorn, a Senior Manager with Epic Opportunities’ Epic at Home residential service.
The idea of forming a coffee club was born out of a conversation earlier this year between Lindsay and his former roommate, Tom, with whom he remains in contact with.
While the club is still very much in its infancy, the hope is that it will start small with a few people and grow as others join in. No location has been chosen yet, but Lindsay would like to see it based somewhere close to his home in northwest Winnipeg.
Lindsay, who is also known to friends as Willis, retired this past February due to health reasons. For five years prior to that he worked at a Tim Hortons location in the Garden City area, where he cleaned tables in the dining area and also helped out in the kitchen.
His outgoing personality and sense of humour made him a favourite of many of his co-workers and the regulars who visited the restaurant. He was often the first staff member to greet customers as they walked in with a “Hello, welcome back.”
“They liked me there. Oh yeah, that made me feel good,” he says. “It was a good job for me.”
Now that he’s retired, Lindsay has more time to devote to his other interests. He participates in an Out and About activity club through the City of Winnipeg. He’s also quite an athlete. He enjoys lifting weights at a local fitness facility and bowls regularly with a group of friends.
The additional free time has also allowed Lindsay to reconnect with his family’s Ukrainian heritage. He recently began collecting vinyl records of Ukrainian polka music and rarely misses an opportunity to watch TV programs and movies devoted to Ukrainian culture and history.
“I like the music and it’s very good food,” he says, smiling. “I’m proud of my Ukrainian heritage and I like everything about it.”