The ‘Fernie Koffee Klan’ Celebrates 50 Years of Friendship

A group of local ladies have set an inspiring example as they celebrated 50 years of weekly catch-ups last month.

By Sara Moulton

Meeting with friends over coffee may not usually be a significant event, but a group of local ladies have set an inspiring example as they celebrated 50 years of weekly catch-ups last month.

After hosting her husband’s parents for dinner one night, Nola Sedrovic and her mother-in-law decided to leave the young children under the supervision of their husbands and ventured over to Mrs. Sedrovic’s mother’s house for coffee. These meetings became a weekly ritual, and it wasn’t long until Mrs. Sedrovic’s sisters Mabel and Marge also joined the growing group.

“We started getting together on Saturday afternoons at my mom’s… we’d go for a visit and have coffee. And now that was 50 years ago!” explains Mrs. Sedrovic.

Dubbing themselves ‘The Koffee Klan’, the ladies would take turns at hosting and began inviting other good friends to join their gatherings. The club retained it’s exclusivity – “you had to be invited”, says Joyce Letcher – but there was ultimately only one rule. No husbands allowed!

“Except for when we’d go out for New Year’s or sometimes a barbeque”, says Irene Letcher.

“Our husbands have never ever stopped us from going for coffee. I would have divorced him!” laughs Betty Varosi, who joined the group after moving to Canada from Hungary.

The number of members at the club’s peak reached up to 15, as the ladies strengthened their friendship and watched each other’s children grow into adults. After many years of helping out with bridal showers, weddings, baby showers and many other celebrations, they now find themselves attending showers for their great-grandchildren.

“We consider ourselves kind of a family”, says Audrey Buliziuk.

Mrs Sedrovic agrees: “We’ve always been there for each other, even if we don’t see each other for awhile. If there’s a problem, we’re already there!”

The ladies clearly enjoy having a good laugh and, although they can’t share too many secrets, they recall one practical joke where they celebrated a birthday with a sponge cake – made from actual sponge.

“It was my sister’s birthday party”, explains Mrs. Sedrovic “and we made her a ‘sponge’ cake. We decorated it all up and took it to her house. She took out the knife and was trying to cut the cake… she couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it! All of us were just killing ourselves laughing!”

The current Koffee Klan has 8 members who still meet once a week, each with their custom-made coffee cups which were ordered for Christmas last year. They still keep in touch with former members who have moved out of town and still try to make time to include them when possible.

It was Mrs. Letcher’s son, who was just a baby when the group began, who inspired them to tell the Koffee Klan’s story on its milestone anniversary. With so many shared memories over the past five decades, it is little wonder that the group have remained such great friends.

“It doesn’t seem that long, but it is”, reflects Mrs. Buliziuk. “When you sit and think – 50 years!”