As this week celebrates National Seniors’ Week, I thought it would fun to showcase some of the unique, mature people who have crossed my path, sometimes becoming close friends, who have made a difference in our world…
Rollanda Lee: A former Klondike singer, Miss Lee has had an impressive career, singing jazz-based popular melodies and being the leader of Rollanda Lee and Her Gentlemen of Jazz. She has been a yearly contributor to the Edmonton Jazz Festival, especially since she has been the President of the Edmonton Dixieland Society for many years. She continues to entertain music lovers at Edmonton venues.
Eugene Miller: A long-time City of Leduc resident, Eugene could be retired now (he tried it) but his passion for teaching and his caring for his ESL students in Leduc has kept him busy here: he often travels to Spanish-language countries, where once again he shares his teaching skills (of the English language) with eager citizens.
Esther Schmidt: A gifted pianist and band leader, avid gardener and devoted church member, Esther shares her love of life with all who come in contact with her, including her ‘senior’ friends of the Leduc Seniors Society. Her homegrown tomato plants are exquisite, and the extra ones sell fast.
Tom Dirsa: With an impressive background as an educator, school principal and basketball coach, Tom is also a great writer and photographer who joined the Pipestone Flyer editorial team a couple of years ago. His enthusiasm and love of sports show in his writing, and people he comes across always remember him well.
Denise Mack: Hard to believe that this petite, lively lady is actually 80! With her late husband, the two of them were the first Canadian couple to become a National Marketing Team for Juice Plus, a journey that started 25 years ago. She tirelessly promotes that healthy lifestyle option, finding the time to travel, fuss over her balcony tower garden and enjoy family and friends.
Barry Macdonald: A charismatic and kind-hearted community supporter and long-time talented writer for the Pipestone Flyer and other groups, Barry takes the time to travel to exotic and interesting destinations. His superior writing skills have shared and supported great causes and critical events in his hometown of Wetaskiwin.
Dan Claypool: The co-founder of the Leduc #1 Energy Discover Centre near Devon, also a Board past president and member of many years, Dan’s passionate support of this oil industry museum and interpretive centre will keep him in the record books for decades to come, probably for centuries. His congenial personality and articulate passion for Leduc #1 fascinate all who chat with him.
Phyllis McCann: a City of Leduc resident of ten years, Phyllis’ greatest accomplishment is having been married (happily) for 61 years! She was an accountant, the president of the Alberta Women’s Commission, a vice-president of the Alberta Consumers’ Association founded in the ‘60s, and a past chair of the Town of Calmar Chamber of Commerce. She now enjoys retirement, a spirited supporter of Church and the Leduc Seniors Society.
David MacKenzie: a dedicated City Councilor (Leduc), great cause supporter and family man, David is also a fitness buff. He recently trained hard prior to his 60th birthday to do a handstand and fundraiser to benefit the Leduc Boys & Girls Club. Any good cause in our regional community is lucky to have him as champion.
Bernice Rempel: A former executive with the City of Leduc administration, Bernice has a passion for the welfare of seniors, and has found a vehicle to channel and engage that passion: CARP, the national lobby group for seniors, where she works tirelessly as the Edmonton Chapter president. Any local citizens fondly remember Bernice’s tireless energy and cheerful enthusiasm.
There are so many more ‘mature friends’ I would have liked to showcase here… Just know that I admire your dedication to making the world a better place, and I hope that God willing, I will also have the good health and energy to contribute to my community during my golden years!