Residents of Heritage Place who are age 90 (and over) include: Standing

Over 90 in Alberni and loving it

The fifth annual “Over 90s Club” was successfully held at Heritage Place this month.

The fifth annual “Over 90s Club” was successfully  held at Heritage Place this month. Eleven residents, whose ages range from 90 to 97, gathered in the living and dining room area of their home to celebrate the event.

Joining the nonagenarians were several residents of Abbeyfield who have also been part of the event year after year since its inception.

This year’s event, put together by Heritage Place program coordinator Deb Walton, was opened with a welcome and introduction of the “special members” of the now well-known Over 90s Club.

After the introductions, Walton read biographies of all the members and the comments they made on different topics related to their long life. In preparation for the event, honourees were asked various questions about their experiences and how they see the differences between the “old days” and present times.

Among the comments on such differences were: “In the old days we had chores to do growing up in order to help the family”; “Going out with boys was quite different from today’s life”; “In today’s society, young people have lots of challenges, from peer pressure to drugs, etc.” and “As youngsters, we were taught manners from early age”.

To the question of “What is your motto to live by?”, here are some of the answers: “Be nice to everybody, and teach that to your kids”; “Live and let live!”; “Destiny is the ‘boss’; “Eat well, don’t drink, don’t smoke and have a good time!”; “Be yourself (and don’t show off!)”.

Next: What was the most defining moment in your life”?: “Having my children”; “When my grandson was born!”; “When I met my husband”; “Graduating from high school”.

And when asked: What does it feel like to be over 90?: “I don’t feel anywhere near that age!”;  “I’m still surprised!”; “I have to get used to it!”; “Enjoy the moment”; ”Try  not to think about it!”; “Pretty good, I am so lucky to be healthy”.

Also, What is something you wish you could do one more time?: “To continue working as a seamstress”; “To go and visit my sister in Australia one more time”; “To be able to get my horse and gallop along the seashore”; “To travel again and to go back to Europe for another visit”; “To get more education”; “To go back to Europe and see the family and the land”. “To have my husband back”.

Five years ago, this special annual event was created as a way of honouring the seniors in our community, especially those in Heritage Place, who celebrate this milestone in their lives,  Walton said.

She speaks enthusiastically about this celebration, saying that these seniors have contributed enormously to their society, not only as family members but as workers, neighbours, and friends.

“Every year, when we celebrate the event, usually in February, they feel honoured with the recognition and thankful for the occasion they celebrate, in fact, they all attend the program dressed up and when their photo is in the newspaper, they save it for their families,” adds Walton.

About 40 per cent of the residents of Heritage Place are now over 90 years old. “We hope to continue with this celebration every year,” adds Walton.