Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, is appealing for persons not to cast the nation’s senior citizens aside as they have, and continue to make significant contributions to the development of the country.
“Our seniors have seen and done it all, and have set a solid foundation for us and there is a tremendous amount that we can learn from our seniors, if we give them the attention that they deserve,” he said.
Mr. Gallimore was speaking today (September 7), at the opening of the St. Andrew and St. Catherine Inter-Parish Seniors Bible Quiz Competition, put on by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), at the Church of God in Jamaica, St. Andrew.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore (right), speaks with Pastor of the Church of God in Jamaica, Rev. W. George Lewis, shortly before the start of the St. Andrew and St. Catherine Inter-Parish Seniors Bible Quiz Competition, put on by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), at the Church of God in Jamaica, St. Andrew, today (September 7).
The Minister of State said senior citizens are well experienced, mature individuals who understand the things that matter most in life, and should be respected.
“This idea of discrimination against seniors, based on age, in wanting to view them as being slow or forgetful, or less competent than young people, is not something that we must promote, because it is not true,” he said.
Mr. Gallimore pointed out that the country’s seniors are engaged in many activities, particularly through the NCSC, and are still learning new skills, acquiring knowledge and participating in creative endeavours, and still have much to contribute to the development of the country.
“Those who are heads of your respective households, you are the ones who will offer guidance to the younger people in your family…and so there is a lot that you can do still to influence the social fabric of this country,” the State Minister said.
The bible quiz competition is being held islandwide simultaneously to select the participants for upcoming rounds of the competition. St. Andrew is competing against Catherine; Manchester against Clarendon; St. Elizabeth versus Westmoreland; St. James against Hanover; St. Ann against Trelawny; St. Mary versus Portland and St. Thomas against Kingston.
Open to senior citizens islandwide, the competition is designed to promote spiritual knowledge among elderly persons, while fostering good relationship and self-actualisation. It is also aimed at encouraging active ageing and intellectual stimulation among seniors.
An agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the NCSC offers a range of programmes and activities that are geared towards improving the quality of life of the country’s senior citizens.