An out­pour­ing of neigh­bourly spirit

The Daily Observer - - OPINION - RON MATTEY PA­TRI­CIA COSTEY-HENRY

We have just passed the mid­dle of May, and thus far, no earth­quake to cheer us up. The wa­ters are re­ced­ing, al­beit slowly, and the ques­tion­ing af­ter­math be­gins. How much can we sal­vage? How much will repairs and ren­o­va­tion cost? Who would buy this place af­ter this catas­tro­phe? Do we want to stay here any­more? And on and on. Gov­ern­ments will help where they can, and the Red Cross has launched a drive to raise funds for those in dire need. I’ve even seen col­lec­tion boxes in a gro­cery store, and I’m pleased to see my fel­low Cana­di­ans drop­ping in change and notes too. This is a rough time for those af­fected by the flood­ing, but I am sure that the neigh­bourly spirit that was in ev­i­dence when sand bags had to be filled will carry over into the af­ter­math too. Our neigh­bours need our help, both in kind and in money. Ev­ery help­ing hand and ev­ery Loonie makes a dif­fer­ence. Be as gen­er­ous as you can.

June 14 we will be hold­ing the cen­tre’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing and af­ter the meet­ing we will hon­our our vol­un­teers with a lunch. In our last fis­cal year, 354 vol­un­teers con­trib­uted 3,136 hours to the cen­tre and their fel­low mem­bers - an im­pres­sive fig­ure which en­ables us to move ever for­ward. As I write this, how­ever, it is Mother’s Day and since the bulk of our vol­un­teers are women, I am sure there are many moth­ers among them. For them, and all the other moth­ers that have nur­tured us all, I hope that the ap­pre­ci­a­tion which you earn ev­ery day was spe­cial for you last Sun­day.

I have just a few re­minders for you, among them, our Book Club is meet­ing to­day at 1:30 p.m., and on Fri­day it’s “Draw­ing with Friends” at 12:30 p.m. But the cen­tre and our vol­un­teers get a rest next Monday be­cause we will not open our doors on Vic­to­ria Day, the 22nd. Con­se­quently, paint­ing in oils will not take place on Tues­day the 23rd. At the City of Pem­broke’s coun­cil cham­bers, how­ever, in the evening you will be able to take in a free seminar on fi­nan­cial safety and sup­port for se­niors.” This is a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gram cov­er­ing pen­sions and other re­tire­ment in­come pro­grams, as well as the recog­ni­tion of scams and fraud that se­niors can be prey to. Noone will be try­ing to sell you any­thing, but you could learn some­thing that may be of help to you, cour­tesy of the Mu­nic­i­pal Re­tirees Or­ga­ni­za­tion and a grant from the New Hori­zons for Se­niors Pro­gram. There is more in­for­ma­tion at the cen­tre.

That same day in the morn­ing (May 23), Mike will be run­ning an­other Windows 10 ori­en­ta­tion. The class is limited to 12 mem­bers, so reg­is­ter now and don’t for­get to bring your lap­top. If fresh air is more to your lik­ing, how about join­ing our in­trepid hik­ers in the Shaw Woods on the east side at 10 a.m. that same day. Be sure to wear stout footwear for an in­ter­me­di­ate hike with mod­er­ate dif­fi­culty in spots. Bring cam­eras and binoc­u­lars too for stalk­ing the wildlife. And don’t for­get the bug spray! Our Diner’s De­light group will also be par­tak­ing of the wild life at the River Club across the bridge at 5:30 p.m. on Wed­nes­day the 24th. You need to get your name in to them by this coming Fri­day and re­mem­ber there are only 25 places at the table, so don’t de­lay.

There you have it, the high­lights for this week and next, but don’t for­get that you can find the usual sus­pects at their usual haunts, most days of the week.

Euchre play­ers and other card sharks, yo­gaists, dartists and artists, ping pongers and car­pet bowlers. They lurk around ev­ery cor­ner of the cen­tre, but they all have a wel­com­ing smile on their faces so don’t be shy, come on in. If you need to know more, call us at 613735-1226, or try our web­site at www.se­nior­dropin.com. Un­til next week TTFN.

Hello ev­ery­one. I’m sure you are all won­der­ing what Gems of the Mind has been up to and if home­work is be­ing done. The Gems of the Mind met on the last Tues­day of April at 6:30 p.m. in the Pem­broke Pub­lic Li­brary board­room for its reg­u­lar work­shop. And guess what?

Ev­ery­one had their home­work fin­ished. Pretty good work I must say and not without strug­gle, a lot of for­ti­tude and rewrites which is all part of the process. Two top­ics cho­sen and writ­ten on were ‘the so­cial im­pli­ca­tions of hang­ing laun­dry’ and ‘the joy of haiku.’ Two books on the lat­ter topic were brought in for us to get a better un­der­stand­ing on Haiku. It was sug­gested we may want to try it.

We dis­cussed a few is­sues the writ­ers were un­sure of. I be­lieve they are now on the right track.

The last per­sua­sive as­sign­ment for the May meet­ing was pre­sented.

On Sun­day, May 7 the Pem­broke Se­nior Cit­i­zen’s Drop-In Cen­tre hosted a spring tea fea­tur­ing guest speaker, au­thor Mary Cook who grew up in the Ot­tawa Val­ley. She is an award-win­ning broad­cast jour­nal­ist, an ac­com­plished au­thor, and a beloved sto­ry­teller who has en­ter­tained peo­ple with her wit and sto­ries for many years.

It wasn’t the first time I’d had the plea­sure of meet­ing her but this time we did a pho­to­shoot to­gether with my book, “If Dogs Could Talk! Love, Joy, and Tears.” I wish more from the club could have at­tended. They missed a good time. I’ll have to tell them about it.

God will­ing I will be back next month. En­joy your read­ing and writ­ing. It is a gift.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Au­thors Mary Cook, left, and Pa­tri­cia Costey-Henry at the Se­nior Cit­i­zen’s Drop-In and Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre’s Spring Tea.

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