IT CAN’T get any happier than this. The name of the club is D’Happy Club and the members profess to be very happy indeed.
D’Happy Club is an activity club for seniors based in the suburb of SS2 in Petaling Jaya (PJ).
The members come from the surrounding area as well as from other parts of PJ, Sri Hartamas and even Subang Jaya.
The club was set up in 2008 by church-based organisation Kairos for Community. Although D’Happy Club is run by Reverend Christopher Lee and his wife Pastor Judy Wong, it is not religious in any way. Lee explains that it is open to all.
It is housed in the Kairos community centre in SS2 which is also used by other community groups like the single mums and the youths.
Explaining why the club was formed, Lee says, “After retirement, sometimes seniors have nowhere to go. Rather than stay at home or get depressed, they can come here, where we meet up and provide activities to keep them occupied.”
The objective is to reach out to seniors, touch their lives, make an impact on the community and help the seniors live healthy, happy and harmonious lives.
The club is open to those 55 and older who are independent and healthy in mind and body, and willing to interact and learn new skills.
It offers skill-learning activities, health talks/programmes, karaoke sessions, dance exercises, board games, table tennis, books and magazines in the library, language classes, cultural programmes, day outings and overseas trips.
D’Happy Club is said to be the place to meet new friends, beat boredom, interact intellectually and achieve a fulfilling lifestyle.
There is just one fee – RM100 for a lifetime membership. Members get updates on club activities, use of certain club facilities, discounts on certain fares and tours, personal counselling (by appointment only).
“We have activities planned throughout the week. Every Friday, we also have meetings in the morning. This week it is karaoke, next week might be a health talk, then there might be a cooking class.
“We have monthly trips as well. We have gone to Terengganu and Taman Negara. We’ve also gone outside the country, to Indonesia and Thailand,” says Lee.
They also do a bit of charity work by visiting the old folks home and inviting the less fortunate for events.
According to Lee, seniors are very health-conscious. Of all the activities the club has, the health talks by medical specialists receives the best response.
Currently, the club has about 200 members, but every week just a few turn up for activities, depending on what they are interested in.
The long term plan is for D’Happy to have its own centre where there will be daily activities for the seniors.
One of the happy members is former office administrator Rani Krishna, 62+, from PJ.
She joined the club shortly after it was formed.
“They were in Section 17, PJ, then. I live around there. I was walking around one day and thinking of joining a club when I saw the name ‘Happy Club’ so I went in to ask about it and ended up joining.
“I’m very, very happy that I joined. I sincerely feel that it’s a wonderful club. Chris and Judy are wonderful people. The club makes me happy and takes away my boredom. I have even made new friends.”
Rani especially enjoys functions where there is dancing and singing, or those where she gets to share her cooking skills and learn new recipes.
The singleton may have her sisters nearby but she also enjoys meeting people and joining the club’s activities.
“I was happy before, but I’m happier since joining the club,” quips the soft-spoken Rani, smiling.
On the day 3Age visited D’Happy Club, there was a karaoke session. This was what motivated Kenny Ong, 73, to be at the centre at 10am.
“I joined the club in 2012. After retirement, I was tired of staying at home, so it was good to come out. Here, we mix with people and have a bit of laughter, stay healthy – that will prolong our life, hopefully,” says the father of two grown up daughters who was formerly in the accounting line.
He and his wife normally drive over to the club even though they live nearby. They join the members for karaoke as well as for the day trips and overseas trips. So far, they have been to Bangkok and Taiwan with D’Happy Club.
“I have travelled quite a bit on my own and for work previously, but going with the club is great. We have a good crowd of people who joke a lot, laugh a lot and we have a lot of fun.”
He recommends seniors join the club. “After all, we don’t pay a lot. Just RM100. D’Happy Club is really happy,” he says.
* D’Happy Club can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/DHappy-Club/175091192593131. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.