Business Lifestyle Reader Contributed

West Hartford Old Guard Provides Opportunity, No Obligation

Two new members are introduced to membership in the Old Guard as Vice-President John Keleher looks on. Members are added throughout the year. Photo credit: Don Kauke

Some of the newest members of the Old Guard have recently moved to the area to be near their adult children.


The Old Guard has over 200 members. In the past year, a trend among new members has become evident. A few having retired, moved here from other areas, to be near adult children and their families. Most of the Old Guard retired men have previously come from the Hartford area, either having lived or worked here.

One man was previously a resident of Darien. Another retired Army officer, moved here to be near a child who resides nearby in Connecticut. Another new member, a former resident of West Hartford, returned here to be equidistant between a daughter in the Boston area and her sister in Westchester County, New York. Even another man moved here to be near his daughter, a professor at the University of Hartford.

Recent Old Guard new member Gary Banks describes his experience:

“My wife and I moved to West Hartford to be near our daughters and grandkids. They are little and cute for only a short time and we didn’t want to miss those years. It’s worked out great seeing them but we needed our own social network. Having very much enjoyed the men’s association in our former town, I joined the Old Guard. I found it an open and welcoming group of guys.  It has been easy to make friends and feel part of the group.

“There are diverse and interesting speakers every week September-May. Some of their activities are social – lunch, visiting museums, sporting events, theater, etc. The guys are also active in a number of community services such as the Connecticut Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, YMCA, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and others. True to their slogan ‘Have fun while doing good’ some activities do both. An example is a golf tournament that raised over $10,000 for the YMCA.

“Give us a try. And when you do, look me up.” – Gary Banks

While their backgrounds are different, the major reason to be in the Hartford area is the same … to be near family. The other common factor is that these men no longer had the social connections that they had with work and social peers at their previous locations. Membership in the Old Guard has is providing them with the opportunity of fellowship and to participate in any or no club activities.

For information, or to arrange a visit to a meeting, contact Clem Sayers, Membership Chairman, at [email protected]. More information can be found at ctoldguard.org.

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