Pointe Claire Aid for Seniors marks 30 years of service

Anthony Abbondanza
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Over 500 local seniors attended the 15th annual Senior Spring Luncheon just outside Bob Birnie Arena last Wednesday and Thursday.

James Sisley, 71, and Jose Van Amerongen, 77, enjoy the 15th annual Senior Spring Luncheon with fellow Pointe Claire seniors.

The event took on more significance this year as seniors celebrated the 30 year anniversary of Aid for Seniors program run by the city of Pointe Claire. And for Kathleen Finn, section manager of Aid for Seniors since 2000, there’s no better way of celebrating the feat than staging a feast for “community-minded” individuals.

“This is a very big deal for seniors. This is the biggest event of the year for these seniors and we just love putting it on for them,” said Finn.

Among those excited for the annual spring luncheon were James Sisley, 71, and Jose Van Amerongen, 77.

According to the residents of a senior home on Cartier Avenue in Pointe Claire, nothing exemplifies “community spirit” better than the spring luncheon, which is organized, in part, by the city and the Old-Timers’ Hockey Association.

“It’s a chance to greet old friends and make new ones,” said Van Amerongen.

Her friend, Sisley, was particularly excited about the food, entertainment, and seeing the rest of the senior community in the city.

The two were joined by dignitaries like Mayor Morris Trudeau and city councillors, as well as  renowned, and retired, Montreal newscaster Bill Haugland; his life after a remarkable and accomplished career as a journalist on full display.

The soon-to-be 72-year-old spoke, at length, to the crowd about life since he retired from CTV News Montreal (formerly CFCF in Montreal) in 2006. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with so much free time,” said Haugland, adding “I’m busier now than I ever expected to be.”

According to the Montreal-native, keeping busy is the key to retirement.

“We need to exercise our brains just like we do with our muscles,” said Haugland, his country-living lifestyle in Vermont keeping him occupied.

Crossword puzzles, volunteering, and “staying informed about the politics that affect us all” are just some of the ways to keep the mind focused, Haugland added.

The 45-year former newscaster even took a jab at former Quebec premier Pauline Marois. “What do you think [Pauline] Marois will be doing now,” he said jokingly, referring to Marois’ quick fall from grace.

On April 17, Montreal Gazette sportswriter Dave Stubbs was the honoured guest. A senior citizen himself, Stubbs has yet to enjoy the perks of retirement.

Aid for Seniors  has offered free indoor and outdoor home maintenance services to seniors year-round since 1984.For more information on Aid for Seniors, visit http://www.ville.pointe-claire.qc.ca/en/seniors-activities/aid-for-seniors.html.

Organizations: Hockey Association, CTV News Montreal, CFCF Montreal Gazette

Geographic location: Pointe Claire, Montreal, Cartier Avenue Vermont Quebec

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