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Surrey Now

Moms club to Surrey dad: we 'hate to discriminate, but...'

Father and son get boot

Surrey Now, Surrey, BC, by Ted Colley, Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sorry, no dads.

That's the message a Clayton Hills father got when he tried to join the activities of the Cloverdale Mommy & Me Meetup group.

Rick Kaselj is a registered kinesiologist and father of Cole, his infant son. A relative newcomer to Surrey, Kaselj was looking for opportunities to meet people in his neighbourhood when he discovered the group online.

Rick KaseljRick Kaselj and his Cole are looking for a new place to meet other parents and children. Photo by Brian Howell.

"My wife and I just had our first child. She works days and I work evenings, so I'm a part-time stay-at-home dad. I found this group online two or three months ago and signed up."

Since then, Kaselj said, he's been getting the emails sent out to group members announcing events the organizers have put together for members and their children.

Other commitments meant he didn't have time to attend any events until recently, but when he expressed interest in joining in on the fun, the door was slammed shut.

"I received an email this morning or last night saying I'm not welcome," Kaselj said.

"I was hoping to participate with them, but I'm not welcome because I'm a dad."

The email, signed Cloverdale Mothers Group, apologetically informed Kaselj that more than half of the members want the group to be for mothers only.

"I hate to discriminate," the author went on, "but hope you can understand when it comes to the security of our children and especially since you have not been able to attend a meetup."

Kaselj wonders why something wasn't said earlier when he first joined online and is really puzzled about the reference to the security of the other members' children.

"I'm not sure what that means," he said.

"All that time I'm getting their emails, then all of a sudden, it's a problem."

Email requests for comment sent to Fiona, the group's organizer remained unanswered as the Now went to press Friday afternoon.

© Surrey Now 2008