September 10, 2016
At 60 years old, I have now started to collect a small Canada Pension Plan cheque once a month.
So I guess I am similar to some of the seniors that I used to help to write their life stories and others that I have written about over the years.
Two things: now that I am 60, I do not feel like I am 60. I feel all the ages or decades that I have lived in the sense that who I was, at different stages of my life all still part of me like many inner-children.
I also think how kind the earsolder people were towards me when I work with them or went to meet them and interview them. Kind because I think now I saw them who they were only on the surface and did not see who they were based on all the stages of life they went through.
Maybe I had a form of subtle ageism. But how was I to know? I only know this now because I have lived to be sixty.
The following is one of the many stories (some of my other posts in this blog feature others of this category of stories) that I have written about seniors:
November 16, 1982
Hard to keep up with local seniors
by Tanya Lester
For the last three years, members of the Senior Citizens’ Rendez-Vous Club in Gravelbourg have been getting together each Thursday afternoon to do exercises. When the Gazette reporter joined the group one afternoon, she had a difficult time keeping up with them.
Helene Bouvier, the exercise program director, believes the exercises help older people to lead more active lives. She said the exercises particularly benefit those with arthritis. Mrs. Bouvier, herself, has arthritis but she still is able to lead an incredibly active life.
Mrs. Bouvier has an exercise book which aids her exercise program. She also supplements these exercises with ones that she sees on the television exercise shows. “I went to other places and saw them doing it there so I said why not do them here,” Mrs. Bouvier said. She does not get paid for the exercise instructions but does it to help her friends.
The Rendez-Vous Club also has many other activities that keep its members very busy. As of November 1, a bingo will be held every second Monday. On the last Tuesday afternoon of each month, there is a general social day with card playing bingo, shuffleboard and the celebration of birthday parties.
Starting November 5, there will be a whist drive every second Friday. There is a potluck supper once a year.
Then there are the holiday events in which the club’s 70 members can take part. Last year, the Beta Sigma Phi sponsored a Valentine Party for the group. There was a pancake supper on the day before Ash Wednesday in accordance with the old religious custom. A supper was held during the Christmas season.
During the summer, the Rendez-Vous Club turns into a tourist information center. Each day, for three months, a senior is in the centre which is stocked with brochures and a tourist guide book. The provincial government pays the club $100 a month, through a grant, to operate the service.
What is known as the “kitchen band” is again getting together at the club. In the past, the band has performed at the old folks’ home as well as at other places. The seniors also occasionally go to seminars in other towns.
There are club meetings each month, too. The executive table officers are Paul Moquin, president; Nora Jacques, secretary; and Cecile Larochelle, treasurer. The membership fee is $1.00 per year. The club welcomes anyone who is 50 years old or over. The building, located on Main St., is owned by the club but the town has exempt it from taxes, according to Mrs. Jacques.
Both Mrs. Jacques and Mrs. Bouvier said that some people are hesitant to join the club because they do not think they are old enough or they feel they have family obligations.
Mrs. Bouvier said she too has a family. But she tells her seven children not to visit her on the days that she is busy at the club. “I still like doing things on my own,” she said.
Tanya is the author of four books. More posts on this blog can be found at tealeaf56.wordpress.com and writingsmall.wordpress.com She is also a psychic reader specializing in tea leaf and tarot reading; a fulltime housesitter and a reiki master. Her website is teareading.wordpress.com She has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Tanya’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org Her phone number is 250-538-0086.