On this particular day 30
seniors enjoyed their regular Aquasize workout at the Leduc Rec Centre.
As the province celebrated SENIORS WEEK, June 4-10, the City of Leduc joined hundreds of Alberta communities Alberta to roll out the red carpet for its local seniors, as well as for countless visitors from the surrounding area. Many of these celebrations showed how seniors remain active, and how social events and activities such as dancing, enjoying music and sharing art can keep spirits high and bodies agile.
To launch the week-long celebration, the City hosted a Pancake Brunch at Telford House on Monday morning. Run by the Leduc Seniors Society and its dynamic director Diane Simms, Telford House is a grand venue, a spacious log house with a terrace, a beautiful property on the shores of Telford Lake, and a committee never short of friendly and hard-working volunteers.
The Pancake Brunch saw close to one hundred and twenty guests partaking of delicious pancakes and sausages that met the enthusiastic approval of many, prepared by Kosmos Restaurant and cooked by members of the Lions Club: the official pancake chef was Ewin McDonald, an active senior well-known in the area for the many volunteer hats he wears. Led by the friendly City of Leduc Seniors Coordinator, Lucrecia Mendoza, city staff placed several picnic tables right in front of Telford House, and it was a unanimous consensus that sharing a meal outside on a hot and sunny day, under a cloudless blue sky, was a treat indeed!
Tuesday was basically a musical day, as the local band “Real Deal”, with its old-time music repertoire, set up an afternoon jam as well as an evening one, which is a regular Tuesday night booking. Esther Schmidt, Don Hickmott, Irwin Heindrichs and Don Rust have an extensive repertoire of old-time dancing tunes and spiritual numbers. It was delightful to see the entire audience get together for the last couple of pieces, and do a ‘group dance’: the community spirit certainly was alive and well that day, as local residents greeted their friends and first-time visitors from Hay Lakes and Camrose.
Wednesday saw the Annual Strawberry Tea hosted by the Friendship Club, a part of Leduc & District Seniors. Telford House was full to capacity, with 50 guests from Lifestyle Options (including a few guests from the West Leduc home): the atmosphere was electric all afternoon, as it was also the beginning of an amazing Art Show that displayed lovely watercolors and oil paintings, crocheted and knitted items, and stained glass art. Most of this art was simply breathtaking, and it was a joy to witness the creativity and talent of these ‘senior artists’! A small group of Planeview travellers came to join the celebrations, arriving in their fancy adapted bus: they seemed to enjoy themselves!
Thursday was a day full of activities: it started with a lunch at Telford House again to a packed venue, followed by welcoming speeches by George VanderBurg, Alberta Minister of Seniors and Jeannette Giesbrecht, constituency assistant of Leduc-Beaumont MLA George Rogers. They joined two other judges for the Pie Competition, the RCMP Chief Inspector Wally Lynds and City of Leduc Facilities Director, Bruce Nisley. With a record seventeen pies to judge, the judges certainly had their plate full (!!) but the judging was completed and the winners were announced. The ensuing fundraiser saw the ‘doubles’ of these delicious pies (meant for the judges and afterwards for the guests) being sold in a Lively Auction by auctioneer extraordinaire and Leduc realtor Harry Pedersen. Always a gregarious, dynamic and entertaining auctioneer, Harry did not disappoint, and the prices of these pies reached high amounts: the top seller fetched $90 (yes, ninety dollars!): this gorgeous lemon-meringue pie was baked by Linda, a visitor to Leduc and resident of Cornerbrook, New Foundland. Eugene Seewalt, the Society’s president, was his usual “host with the most”, congenial and kind to everyone.
Activities at Telford House will slow down for the summer but some favorite ones will not be interrupted: Bridge on Tuesday mornings and Crib on Tuesday afternoons, Fun Curling on Wednesday afternoons, and Euchre on Friday afternoons will still take place while dancing and music jams will resume in the fall.
Friday afternoon saw a large contingent gather for the Hawaiian Party at Planeview Place. The performers were Hawaiian Treasures, an Edmonton-based band of thirty seniors who study and perform Hawaiian music, including two lovely senior ladies who are the Hula Honeys, performing dances in the authentic style of the islands. Their performance was lively, flawless, and fascinating, due to the variety of instruments in this large band; there were bongos, ukuleles, steel and Spanish guitars, to mention a few . George Lake is a talented musician, and the congenial and passionate founder-director of this musical group, sharing that there is never a shortage of elderly musicians wanting to learn and perform this unique, melodious and fun style of music. The Planeview Party was planned by Jeanette McPhee, its Recreation Coordinator extraordinaire, whose dynamic and kind heart inspires a bevy of volunteers to invest their time in helping entertain the residents and adding a little joy and comfort to their everyday life.
Planeview Place is under the umbrella of the Leduc Foundation, a solid organisation that includes another Lodge in Warburg. It prides itself in providing its residents with countless activities all year long: at Planeview Place for example, there is a friendly-priced Soup & Sandwich lunch followed by Bingo on Tuesday afternoons, regular Bible studies and other activities that are for residents and their invited guests, and members of the community are welcome to attend so that they can investigate volunteering options. Both these lodges have their own kiln, and the Foundation is hoping to find an instructor to revive the Ceramics Class in the near future.
Aquasize and walking valuable activities!
The City of Leduc, like other municipalities, recognizes the value of our seniors. It provides Seniors with many options to stay fit and active: from a budget-friendly tag price on monthly passes at the Leduc Recreation Centre to regular Seniors Aquasize sessions at the Mix Family Aquatic Centre (in the LRC), it creates avenues of fitness and recreation that are available to all seniors in our City and region. The City of Leduc has a dynamic schedule for these, and many seniors have been attending Aquasize sessions for many years. Mabel Lake is 96 years young, and credits these water-fitness sessions with her sustained mobility: with the loyal support of her sons, she attends her twice-weekly sessions faithfully, and in her favorite deep water pool end, she is no slacker at these sessions! Another Leduc resident, Tillie Bradford, now 103 years young, kept attending Aquasize sessions faithfully until last year!
Although July and August will not see Seniors Aquasize lessons at the LRC due to youth summer programs, seniors can ‘train’ at their own pace while attending evening Aquasize on weeknights, from 8 to 9. As mobility can be a challenge for seniors, the wonderful track that occupies the top level of the LRC’s Fitness Centre has wide lanes that can accommodate walkers and slow-moving walkers, safely and pleasantly.
Reading a lifetime pleasure
When mobility is reduced, a few pleasures remain in the home; reading is a favorite pastime that sometimes cannot be accessed easily when a senior can’t get to the library conveniently. A Mobile Library is a precious and wonderful service, and the City of Leduc has a congenial staff that caters to seniors’ reading wishes, delivering the type of books they prefer, and doing so on a regular basis. The FCSS also has a highly-trained, kind and devoted staff providing home care services to seniors who don’t leave their home much and need assistance for personal and health needs. In many cities across the province, including the City of Leduc, there are programs that join seniors and schoolchildren: this is a wonderful option that teaches respect and compassion to children who don’t have much exposure to the elderly, and provides joy and companionship to seniors who don’t have young ones in their lives…
There are many activities aimed at entertaining, comforting and fitness-