Seven years ago, Sue Henry moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a place where she didn’t know anyone – today, she’s made a lot of friendships in town and wants to help those who were in her shoes before make connections.
Last Wednesday, social group NOTL Newcomers held a Community Awareness Day at community centre, where other newcomers and NOTLers could come out and explore what the group has to offer them.
Henry thanks the group for her success in making so many connections in town.
“I joined Newcomers and by the end of the year, I was recruited to do the website and the newsletter,” she told The Lake Report.
The Newcomers group is helpful in introducing people new to town to its residents and learning more about Niagara-on-the-Lake, she says.
“It’s a great way to be involved,” she said.
Henry now does newsletters for other various groups and organizations around town, she said.
As part of Newcomers, also leads a lunch group to help 75 members discover more about the surrounding towns around NOTL once a month
“My goal with my group is to drag them around – who can turn down a lunch? – have a nice lunch, go to a nice restaurant,” Henry said.
There are plenty of community leaders in town who got their start meeting people at Newcomers, such as Rosemary Laird, who joined in 2021.
Now a member of the NOTL Horticultural Society, the Newcomers helped Laird find her niche in town.
“The number of things for me to do in the area has grown since joining the Newcomers. There’s so much going on that you hear about,” Laird said.
Moving to a new place is more difficult as an older person, she said, but groups like Newcomers make the transition a lot smoother.
“When you’re younger you’ve got kids and you’re meeting people through schools but when you’re older it’s a bit of a challenge,” Laird said. “This is a terrific opportunity – it’s a safe space.”
A former president of the Newcomers, Peggy Hooke, shares this sentiment.
“When you join, you tend to pair up with people who just came in as well, and in many ways, they become your friends in this community,” she said.
Hooke added that through Newcomers, it is easy to find different programs in town that perhaps some new NOTLers would otherwise miss out on.
“Newcomers makes it very easy to get in with the community.”