Senior citizens council meets in Oxford

Hope Bridgewater
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The talented trio of Carol Embree, Wanda Lloy and Wendy Reid sing a medley of songs and hymns at a recent meeting of the Cumberland County Senior Citizens Council. Submitted photo by Hope Bridgewater

OXFORD – The Cumberland County Senior Citizens Council (CSCC,) November 2010, (there are four meetings a year) met in Oxford with the Oxford Pioneer Heritage Club acting as host.

These council meetings are very important as all 11 clubs are invited to come for social contact, friendship, entertainment and political concerns about the senior population. There are political contacts with the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia and with the Department of Seniors (Nova Scotia is fortunate to have such a department as not all Canadian provinces have one).

Each year, the federation (representing senior clubs) meets with the Department of Seniors and other government departments to voice senior concerns. We were sad to hear at the meeting that the Pugwash 50-Plus Club disbanded recently, and we are hoping it will start up again. At the moment, we are now 10 clubs in Cumberland County.

The social hour from 11 a.m. to noon featured a talented trio of singers (two played the guitar as well): Wendy Reid (alto), Wanda Lloy (lead) and Carol Embree (tenor). With beautiful harmony, the group sang: “Just as the Sun Went Down,” “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” “Away In a Manger,” “A Tiny Babe Is Born,” and “Christmas Bells Are Ringing.” With encore calls from members, Wendy Reid sang solo “Christmas Star Shines Brightly,” “It’s Good To Be Back Home Again,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Silver Bells,” and “Silent Night.”

Next came lunch with 33 people seated at several tables and being served by the Oxford club members. After the lunch, friendly conversations ended at 1 p.m., and President Judy Shultz introduced a speaker, Ross Blanch, from the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County (SHCCC) located in Amherst, and he spoke briefly about the importance of promoting sexual health and left copies of the pamphlet called “Safe Sex After 50” for each club. The pamphlet was funded by a grant from the Department of Seniors.

The business meeting began with president Judy Shultz and secretary Betty Curry as the executive at the head table. Treasurer Gertrude Hollis was unable to attend. “O Canada” was sung, the “Seniors Prayer” said, and a minute of silence was held in memory of those who had passed away since the last meeting: Jimmy MacLean from Malagash and Clarence Chapman from Springhill.

President Judy Shultz reported the following topics and, when necessary, they were discussed. No. 1. Seniors are not always consulted about the location of new senior apartments being built, and there have been cases where senior apartments have been built at locations not suitable for senior needs. No. 2. Dal Hutchinson, community policing officer RCMP, is prepared to give a presentation about seniors’ safety issues, and the membership hopes Mr. Hutchinson can come to the next council meeting. No. 3. In Amherst, a park bench with a plaque has been donated by the CCSCC and PFTCCC (Preventing Falls Together Coalition of Cumberland County) in memory of the late president of CCSCC, Les Day, who worked very hard to establish a coalition about falls.

No. 4. Work is in progress to provide a relevant list of important phone numbers for seniors in Cumberland County. No. 5. An important book It’s In Your Hands - Legal Information for Seniors and Their Families is recommended. No. 6. Fall Consultation attended by Judy Shultz on Nov. 2, had information about local bus transportation, volunteerism, community stories and updates from the Department of Seniors.

No. 7. Positive Aging Grants will be available in the spring, 2011. No. 8. The federation quilt which had tickets for it sold by N. S. senior clubs was won by a woman from Tusket. No. 9. Federation newsletter requires reports sent in by the N.S. clubs if it is to continue to publish. No. 10. Senior Health Care Center in Springhill is open to Cumberland County residents by appointment (phone 597-7150). No. 11. Personal Directive Act in N.S. is now in effect.

No. 12. Members are interested in asking a lawyer to speak at the May, 2011, meeting in order to address senior concerns. No. 13. Two representatives from each club should attend council meetings but all other club members are welcome as well. No. 14. Present executive has another year, 2011, to serve.

At the close of the meeting, each club reported on its activities. Clubs present were Malagash, Northport, Oxford, Springhill, Wallace and Wentworth. President Judy Shultz made available the following important pamphlets: Fair Drug Prices for Nova Scotians; Planning for Possible Loss of Independence; Managing and Protecting Assets; Planning for Future Housing Needs; Financial Abuse; Having a Will; Elder Abuse; Frauds and Scams; Income and Benefits from Government Programs; Personal Directives in Nova Scotia - Personal Care choices.

The next council meeting will be in Springhill on March 16, 2011, 11 a. m. to 3 p.m.

Organizations: Cumberland County Senior Citizens Council, Department of Seniors, Oxford Pioneer Heritage Club Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia Pugwash 50-Plus Club Sexual Health Centre Health Care Center

Geographic location: Oxford, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia Springhill Amherst Bethlehem Tusket

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