Canadian care agency provides meal support for JCA seniors’ club
A group of Caribbean seniors will receive free lunches twice a week for six months at their regular activity sessions.
The announcement was made at the annual Caribbean Canadian Seniors’ Brunch held at the Jamaican Canadian Community Centre recently, that Lumacare, a local group which serves the needs of older persons, will provide lunches for six months for the approximately 40-50 seniors who meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Dr. Sylvanus Thompson, a member of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), was instrumental in making the provision of meals a reality for the group, which is led by Pam Reynolds and Ken Bowen.
Lumacare began as a Meals on Wheels programme by a local nurse, Inger Holm, founder of Downsview Services for Seniors. This would become an agency of over 250 staff serving more than 3,500 older adults each year. Holm passed away in 2019.
Established in the 1970s, the Caribbean Canadian Seniors Club is one of the signature programmes at the Jamaican Canadian Association.
Representing the diversity of the Caribbean, the group engages seniors in social, physical educational, cultural and faith programmes to reduce isolation, and keep them engaged and involved in the community.
The seniors are involved in activities, such as information sessions facilitated by guest speakers on a range of topics including safety, health, community resources, light fitness/exercise sessions and group devotions.
They also participate in technology workshops (computer basics, social media, virtual platforms such as Zoom, and Internet safety), group trips, fundraising events, and choir.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the weekly sessions were done virtually, but the club has since returned to in-person meeting format.
Keynote speaker Camille Hannays-King, former chair of the JCA’s Women’s Committee, and a retired psychotherapist, reminded the group that their lifetime of experiences is a treasure chest of wisdom waiting to be discovered.
“As we journey through life, let us not rush past our experiences, but pause to reflect on them. Each moment, each choice, each challenge, and each triumph contributes to the tapestry of wisdom within us.”
She said as individuals unlock the wisdom within, they would illuminate not only their own path, but also the path of others. “Remember, the richest gift we can give is the wisdom we’ve gained over our lifetime. So, let us embrace the beauty of our experiences, reflect on the lessons they hold, and carry forward the torch of wisdom for the generations yet to come.”
Among those in attendance was one of the founders of the JCA, 103-year-old Amy Nelson. Diamond Jubilee recognition awards were presented to Alton Telfer and Gifford Walker, and spotlighted for former JCA presidents Miah Bailey and Karl Fuller, in their absence. All have been members of the organisation for over 60 years. Shirley McKay was presented with a plaque for her 25-year membership at the JCA.
The entertainment included the Caribbean Canadian Seniors’ Choir, performances by gospel recording artiste Kay Morris, and deejay Owen Dunbar.