The government’s Seniors’ Day Programme continues to meaningfully engage older persons in the East Basseterre, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s communities, offering rewarding experiences that make retirement more enjoyable.
For the past six weeks, the seniors have engaged in art classes, learning to draw and paint and making origami flowers. Each senior used their flowers in designing Mother’s Day cards for the popular celebration of moms.
Veraline Edwards of Stapleton Village said that she is having “fun” in the programme working with others, sharing stories and making new memories. She flashed a smile and chuckled as she recalled the previous weeks making a kite and going out to fly it on April 11, 2023, as part of the programme’s inaugural activity.
“We learn something from each other, and it is great,” Ms. Edwards stated.
Minister of State responsible for Ageing, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, dropped in on the seniors at St. Peter’s on Tuesday, May 23, 2022, to get a first-hand account of the positive stories from the programme. She was thoroughly surprised as the seniors gifted her an abstract portrait of herself, taken from the programme’s launch on March 21, 2023. Each senior in the St. Peter’s group had a task in producing the paint and mix-media portrait, which involved drawing, shading, and painting.
Hon. Isalean Phillip (second from right) was impressed with artwork depicting her
“I was very impressed to see one of the collective artwork pieces that they did, which is a painting of myself,” she stated. “And then they also have been doing other individual arts and crafts like painting and drawings, making cards and paper art, and that really has been impressive too, so it is a really good way to keep older persons engaged, and they are also very creative.”
Participant Winston Walwyn was assigned to work on the face section of the portrait of Minister Phillip. He said that he was extremely proud of the “masterpiece” created and the teamwork that produced it.
“It encouraged us, and it shows people no matter how old you are, as long as you try, you can do something beneficial,” Mr. Walwyn expressed. He encouraged other seniors in the community to “come out” to the Seniors’ Day Programme.
“There are many things you can learn. Not because you are old, you never stop learning until you die. It (the programme) is very beneficial,” Mr. Walwyn indicated.
Artwork done by the seniors
The group meets on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Peter’s Church of God.