To fill that void, the Westchester County Department of Aging created the Old Guard of White Plains, an organization catering to retired career men. Since it opened its doors in 1954, the Old Guard has attracted dozens of loyal members, including leading physicians, judges, lawyers, executives, and entrepreneurs who live mostly in Westchester. With a record membership of close to 170 people today, the Old Guard stands stronger than ever.
“Our members are captains of industry, with tremendous backgrounds,”
Old Guard members meet and listen to a guest speaker each week. Bridge, bowling, golf, pool, and an annual dinner dance engage its members and spouses. Community service is part of the mix as well.
Robert G. Kurzman, a trusts & estates attorney who has been regularly listed as a New York Metro Super Lawyers, explains the club’s appeal. “A happy and successful career nearing an end can bring sadness and despair to a professional,”
Other members echo his opinion. “I found a new life [at the Old Guard] when I joined,” explains Bob Anderson, 85, the founder of Zion Kosher Delicatessen in White Plains, who joined the Old Guard in 1997 after retiring. “My country club friends have either died or moved to Florida. Here I have found people with similar interests to mine.”
For Harmohan Sethi, who owned a wholesale furniture business Sethi & Sethi with his wife, bridge and the caliber of the members are what enticed him to join a year and a half ago. Now the Pelham resident chairs the club’s Bridge Committee. “Here I meet people of similar backgrounds and interests. We are all of a similar type,” he says.
Past members have included Harry G. Horn, who retired as CEO of New York Life in 1997; the Hon. William D. Friedmann, a former Associate Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, and Dr. Paul Tucci, a distinguished urologist who practiced in Rye.
The Old Guard meets every Tuesday morning at the Memorial United Methodist Church at 250 Bryant Avenue in White Plains. A recording secretary keeps minutes, and the president of Old Guard, currently James Kelleher, presents old and new business topics for discussion. Meetings are run as crisply as a quarterly board of directors meeting. Afterwards, invited speakers address the group, discussing a wide range of topics from what’s happening in Pakistan today to energy efficiency. Following the discussions, a light lunch is served. Many members stay for a game or two of bridge.
The Old Guard’s community-service projects include preparing tax returns for seniors, collecting money for the Salvation Army, and raising funds that support other nonprofit groups housed in Memorial United Methodist Church. And while the club sticks to its “no girls allowed” policy, wives are frequently invited to participate in discussions and social events.
“I was looking for ways to occupy my time. The Od Guard has eased me into the next phase of my life,” explains Mr. Ronde, who chairs the membership committee. “It’s a place to get your bearings and find amazing people.”
For more information, the public is invited to visit www.oldguardofwhiteplains.org or call James Kelleher, president, at 845-290-0956.