The Newton County Senior Center, now known as the Josephine B. Brown Senior Center, is quite remarkable, yet it did not always exist. Founded in the 1970’s by concerned citizens seeking to help the elderly, the Senior Center has grown into a vibrant, caring place. A second generation member, Pauline Eubanks is the daughter of one of the Senior Center’s charter members. Wise and compassionate, Eubanks kindly answers questions about her Senior Center experience.
How did your family become involved with the Senior Center?
Eubanks: My mother, Mattie Stinson, was in the first group that started the Senior Center in Newton County. Before the Senior Center, there was an older amputee man who would ask to be brought to the Covington Square so he could be with people and not have to stay home alone. My mother and several others saw him and realized there was a need in the community for older people to have a place to go during the day. This began a quest for a Senior Center.
How did you join the Senior Center?
Eubanks: In the late 1980’s, my sister, Julia Mae Whitfield, worked at the Senior Center, and my mother still attended. I became disabled at my job and had to retire early and quit driving due to injuries. Julia took me to work with her, and I stayed all day. I saw how entertaining it was to be out with people, and I met so many folks I didn’t know. I’ve been coming here ever since.
What do you enjoy most about the Senior Center?
Eubanks: I like that everyone enjoys being with everyone else; we all get along. I enjoy hearing about people’s childhoods. Most grew up like me, but some are from different towns, states, or countries. There are people here from all walks of life. It’s a good place to make friends.
What does the Senior Center mean to you?
Eubanks: It’s a place of opportunity. There’s always something to do and somewhere to go. Everyone has a good time. This is my second home.
How do other seniors view the Senior Center?
Eubanks: It’s a home away from home. We’re all pals and think of each other as classmates. We’re like children going to school because we’re so excited to get on the bus, be with friends, and know there’ll be fun activities. For a lot of seniors, they live for this Senior Center – it’s what keeps them going.
Any favorite activities?
Eubanks: There are so many activities. It’s really a pleasure to get to do all this. My favorites are ceramics and the fellowship.
Do you have a favorite event?
Eubanks: Day trips are always exciting! The Hamrick’s shopping trip is my favorite because I love shopping. Day trips are great opportunities to get out if you can’t or don’t want to drive.
Has the Senior Center changed much over the years?
Eubanks: Yes! It’s moved several times, and each time it’s gotten bigger. It’s still growing. At over 300 members with around 70 coming per day, we are busting at the seams! Transportation to and from the Center improved from only 1 bus to now 4 packed buses.
What would you like to see in the upcoming expansion of the Senior Center?
Eubanks: I hope we actually get to expand the Senior Center as we were promised. It’s something I look forward to. We really need more room. If every member came on the same day, we wouldn’t have space for them all. I want everyone to be able to come because it’s such a great place. I would also like a bigger ceramics space since it’s so popular.
What would you tell seniors thinking about joining or people considering volunteering?
Eubanks: I would tell them to go ahead. This is a great place to spend time when you are lonesome or have nothing to do. I highly recommend it. You do activities with friends and have fun. The staff and much-needed volunteers are wonderful.
Any advice you would like to offer?
Eubanks: After my back injury, I had a big decision. I could sit and sulk or keep going. For anyone young or old finding themselves unable to live life as they used to, this doesn’t mean you have to stay home and pity yourself. Get up, get out, and do things. I come here. The Senior Center enriches my life.
Visit the Senior Center!
6183 Turner Lake Road
Covington, Ga 30014