Enduring Valentines

Journal Pioneer staff
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Gents ignore gender disparity to enjoy Valentine coffee party with wives

SUMMERSIDE - The Valentine coffee party at Trinity United Church usually turns out to be an overwhelmingly women's event, but John Woodworth and Maynard Simpson were two gents who didn't mind sitting in and enjoying the refreshments.

They were among only a handful of men spotted during the late-morning event in the church hall, but when their wives of more than 50 years are doing the serving, where else should one have expected them to be?

Audrey Maynard and Arlene Woodworth were part of the United Church Women's Epworth Unit that organized and served the party that is an annual fundraiser for the church.

The Maynards don't heartily celebrate Valentine's Day after 55 years of marriage, but they will be out to a card party in Cavendish this year and expect the host will have decorated for the occassion. The Woodworths, close behind with 53 years of marriage to their credit, do still celebrate, most often just going out to dinner at a local restaurant.

The men's presence at the Valentine coffee party seemed to make perfect sense from other perspectives, too. UCW social convener Joyce Bridges described the event as "a social time for friends and neighbours" as much as it is a fundraiser: the Woodworths and the Maynards live one street away from each other, and qualify as friends and neighbours.

John Woodworth had also just come from a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the East Prince Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc., which was served by an organization to which he belongs. Helping out another community organization just fit right into the day's activities.

In all, about 125 patrons passed through the doors during the 90-minute party.

Organizations: Coffee Party, United Church Women, East Prince Family Violence Prevention Services

Geographic location: Maynards, Cavendish

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