Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Jericho Reunion Committee honours 41 senior citizens

Published:Tuesday | August 16, 2016 | 8:00 AMClaudia Gardner
Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson makes a presentation to 96-year-old Magnova Vernon during the Jericho Reunion's senior citizens' dinner.

The Jericho Reunion Planning Committee in Hanover recently honoured 41 senior citizens from the rural farming community at a special recognition dinner at the Tryall Club as a part of its annual reunion activities.

According to chairman of the committee, Ansel Brown the event was initiated in a bid to include senior citizens who were unable to physically move around and engage in the Reunion Week activities.

"The Jericho Reunion comprises many exciting events ... . For a few years, we noticed that some of us as citizens were physically unable to attend all the events," Brown said.

"We, therefore, created a situation whereby they could enjoy the experience. Hence, we organised a dinner, and it was first held at the Jericho Primary School," Brown said, adding that the Tryall Club has been sponsoring the annual event for the past five years.

Keynote speaker and minister of labour and social security, Shahine Robinson, in her address, urged the seniors to enjoy the golden years of their lives.

"We can celebrate the benefits that old age brings, including greater self-worth and freedom and a mature and tolerant perspective on life and with whom we interact," the minister said. "We celebrate the triumph of ageing - the undaunted, high-spirited, courageous active spirit of living which characterises seniors today.

"Health and well-being have a bearing on the prosperity and economic development of our people and our country. Managing healthy lifestyles is important for the seniors we are honouring today - and the seniors we ourselves will become tomorrow. I am a senior citizen because I celebrated my 63rd birthday on the 4th of July," she added.

Robinson also called on the private sector and community members to support programmes which are aimed at securing the welfare of senior citizens.

"I encourage our business enterprises to fund and support senior citizens clubs in our parishes. Our NCSC (National Council for Senior Citizens) staff can attest to the fact that these senior centres help elderly residents to foster relationships with the wider community, provide access to crucial social services and help improve quality of life," Robinson said.

"I challenge more citizens to volunteer in the senior centres operated by the NCSC. There are wide ranges of services that can be provided from administrative to friendly visiting; from helping to serve lunch to sharing a talent or skill... our cities and towns can benefit from this type of investment and association...I call on you to partner with the Ministry to protect our elderly Jamaicans from homelessness, abuse, mistreatment, neglect, violence and even financial fraud," she urged.

claudia.gardner@gleanerjm.com