DCMFPB: What we do - and who does what

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Around six-thirty in the morning on the day of any our breakfasts, the earliest of us begin to arrive at the Dartmouth Seniors' Service Centre. For many months of the year, it's in the dark. Over the next ten minutes or so, coffee and tea are ready, and the dining area is already a welcoming place. By this time, there are several of us either standing around or sitting at the tables chatting over coffee. The kitchen crew are busy in the kitchen, and sometimes we lend a hand with things out in the dining hall.

    For those who have been to any of our breakfasts, you know that some of us have specific tasks before the 7:00 am start time. Their names, with contact links, are highlighted:

  • Just inside the dining hall is a table where Ralph Sams sits to accept your payment (it's now $10.00) for the breakfast. We also see him helping out by checking on the readiness of the meal to be served, and waiting until everyone else is seated before he sits down to eat.
  • You are sure to see Don Hill setting up a lectern at the head table, and placing a mike stand for the participants. Don is the general coordinator, and it's his job to line up speakers -- sometimes a few months ahead -- and then act as MC of the breakfast meeting.
  • At one of the side tables you will see the tag board placed there by Bob Lindsay. He has brought a list of those who reserved a seat (the number is essential for food preparation), and for whom he has tags ready. If you show up without reserving, Bob may shake his head or frown (just a bit, mind you) but he will hunt up your tag all the same. Of course, he will make sure your name is on the regular email list, if you request it.

    While we are talking about tags, sometimes we have to borrow the plastic holder from the tag of an absentee, especially when there is a large attendance and we are running short of holders. Don't be surprised if you see small traces of food from a previous tag user. It certainly helps if you try to keep your own tag clean.

As start time approaches, Don, as coordinator, ensures all participants know their roles. Other than the guest speaker, roles often include offering an opening or closing prayer, or introducing the speaker - tasks normally assigned days earlier. Announcements of relevant upcoming events are made during the final minutes before the buffet line starts. Prayer concerns are collected at this time.

About 35 minutes is devoted to breakfast: going through the buffet line, and enjoying the meal with abundant conversation. If there's enough food, it's because everyone reserved a spot ahead of time. The balance of the time, up to about 8 am, is left for the day's theme speaker, who generally offers the closing prayer, including the contributed prayer concerns.

A group photo rounds out our meeting, and we are on the way and out the door by about 8:10 or 8:15 - a practice that has evolved as our attendance base has increased in age. If everyone had to dash off to a day job, we'd never be able to stretch it out that late!

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