IN FOCUS: A welcoming place for all pensioners

CPSA branch secretary Pat Andersen and branch president Allan Excell. (Photo Mark Wilson)

By Carole Levy

Where could a pensioner in Melton go to enjoy a game of indoor bowls, pool, darts or bingo – accompanied with tea, coffee and biscuits – for the princely sum of 50 cents? Or what about a morning of line dancing – again for just 50 cents? Or having a strong community voice on pensioner issues?

The answer to that is the Seniors Community and Learning Hub, because it’s where the local branch of the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association Inc (CPSA) enthusiastically meets every Tuesday and Friday.

Allan Excell, branch president of the not-for-profit, non-political association, is keen to welcome new members of any age “who receive at least $1 from Centrelink”, as he puts it.

“Our group is geared around regular meetings for developing friendships, and enjoying each other’s company in a range of social activities,” Allan explains. “We have fun, in other words.”

“We also provide a more serious platform for discussions or lectures around pensioner issues. CPSA is the leading consumer voice for pensioners, retirees and superannuants. It stands for independence, opportunity and choice.

“The association also works for a better standard of living, and gives members information they need to be active participants in decisions that may affect their lives.”

The only requirement, apart from a tiny outlay, for participating in the following social activities is attendance at the branch once a month:

• Tuesday mornings: 50-50 dance

• Tuesday afternoons: Cards, bowls, darts, pool, crafts – or listen to music … read a book

• Friday mornings: Line dancing, pool and darts

• Friday afternoons: Bingo (eyes down 1.45pm)

• First Friday evening of the month: Bring-a-plate dance ($3)

• May: An annual birthday lunch

• July: Annual Christmas in July event

• December: The annual ‘real’ Christmas Lunch

Throughout the year, there are day trips to such places as the Puffing Billy and Caribbean Gardens, and even five-day trips – for example, to Adelaide – are organised. Every month or bi-monthly, depending on numbers, members can enjoy trips to the casino.

As part of its fundraising efforts, the association is holding its annual fete to coincide with this year’s Djerriwarrh Festival on Saturday, November 9. There’ll be bargains on plants, cake stalls, a white elephant sale and tombola along with a sausage sizzle and cold drinks.


Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association meets at Seniors Community and Learning Hub, 1 McKenzie Street, Melton, at 9am-3pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. Inquiries: Secretary, 9743 8073


Members enjoy some of the social activities on offer. (Photo Mark Wilson)
Members enjoy some of the social activities on offer. (Photo Mark Wilson)