Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, has called on the country’s seniors to fulfill their role as culture bearers and to take the time to impart their cultural experiences to the younger generation.
Bemoaning the decline in the values of today’s youth, he implored golden agers to be proactive and mentor young people, and to share with them positive values passed on by past generations.
The State Minister was bringing greetings at the Kingston and St. Andrew Cultural Day 2009 held yesterday (May 27) at the Holy Cross Church on Half-Way Tree Road.
The event, held under the theme: ‘Seniors Supporting Local Products’, featured a colourful and mouth-watering display of food items made from locally grown produce. Among the treats were dasheen chips complete with pumpkin dip; pumpkin pudding, punch and bread; dasheen cake; and banana tea.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore enquires about the treats on display at the Kingston and St. Andrew Cultural Day 2009 held on Tuesday, May 27 at the Holy Cross Church in Kingston. Showing off the items (from left) are: Ortense Johnson of the Dallas Senior Citizens Club in Gordon Town; Executive Director of the National Council for Senior Citizens, Beverley Hall-Taylor; and Daphne Oakley, also of the Dallas Senior Citizens Club.
Mr. Gallimore commended the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) and Action Aging Jamaica, organisers of the event, for selecting the theme, which promotes the use of local products. This, he noted, mirrors the message of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to ‘Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow’.
He also lauded the opportunity provided for inter-generational mixing. “They (senior citizens) are the foundation of our nation. They carry all our history and our culture everywhere that they go and it is a wonderful opportunity to have intergenerational mixing where you have younger persons mixing with the older persons. We need to create as many opportunities of this nature to get that transfer of information going,” he stated.
He noted that with the advent of active aging, there is increased need for the society to ensure that the seniors continue to contribute to the growth and development of the society and the Government, through the NCSC, which has engaged seniors in a range of activities such as farming, sports, home economics, computer studies, music, debating, spelling competitions, domino tournaments, homework programmes among others, to keep them stimulated and increase their sense of worth.
“Our seniors are living much longer and are a lot more vibrant, strong and full of energy. We need to find ways to allow our senior citizens to continue the work they have been doing their whole lives, influencing their communities, influencing the direction in which the country is going and continuing to play an active part in the growth and development of this country,” he added.
Lily Gaynor of the St. Matthew’s Senior Citizens’ Club in Allman Town, expressed delight at the opportunity to share in Cultural Day 2009. “You have people from all communities coming in and sharing. You can see that people are now using what they have, and are eating what they grow. It is very interesting and I hope that we will continue to have activities of this kind,” she stated.
Exhibitors at the event included the National Insurance Scheme; Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC); the Kingston and South St. Andrew 4-H Club, among others.