Bloke’s Lounge on the Gold Coast is growing
BLOKE'S Lounge, a Gold Coast friendship group for men aged 50+, is hitting its straps with membership nearing the 35-mark.
It was founded by Southport's Ian McDougall who envisioned for a safe, friendly and welcoming place where blokes from all walks of life could socialise, make friends, share their stories and experiences and become more aware of health issues.
"Bloke's Lounge gets the men together," Mr McDougall said.
"Fortnightly gatherings are informal - a bit of business, one of the blokes might tell a yarn about himself or his life as a way of getting to know each other, often a head-scratching quiz, occasional guest speakers then concluding with lunch and informal chatting.
"The men then arrange between themselves what they want to do outside of the meetings such as fishing, golf, darts, cycling, walking, movies, cards, barbecues and outings."
Bloke's Lounge now meets from 11.30am every second Tuesday of the month at the Surfers Paradise Golf Club after 15 months at the Italo-Australian Club.
"The Lounge has developed into a great collection of blokes from different personal, ethnic, work, spiritual and geographical backgrounds," Mr McDougall said.
"These men have with different opinions, get on well together, make few demands, enjoy socialising, offer help and assistance and are forming strong friendships through shared activities.
"The Lounge is not what I envisioned in that it is not a physical place, open a couple of days or more a week so blokes can drop in, have a cuppa and chat, read papers, play cards etc.
"But it has achieved its main purpose - it is a place where people can meet new people and make new mates.
"By getting involved, many blokes have come out of their shell and I've watched them shake off the blues through increased physically activity and become mentally engaged with other men.
"They're enjoying life again."