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Seniors thanked for contributions at various celebrations last week

Posted on June 15, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News

A number of events were held across Lethbridge County as part of Senior’s Week.

The week of celebrations ran from June 5-11 and kicked off on June 5 at the Sunny South Lodge in Coaldale for a pancake breakfast. With the cooperation of the weather, the event was hosted in the parking lot with proceeds going to the Resident Activity Fund.

Hosted by the Coaldale Seniors’ Advisory Committee, with sponsorship from FCSS and the Coaldale Wellness Association, a seniors luncheon was held at the Coaldale Curling Rink on June 7. Opening up the event was John Carstairs, a senior and educator who spoke to the guests in attendance, (of which there was over 30), taking them down memory lane, discussing some of the most monumental cultural shifts and technical advances that have taken place in many of their lifetimes.

Carstairs phrased this as “changes we have all survived.” Speaking on the significant advances in computing, Carstairs talked a bit about ENIAC (1946), the world’s first general purpose computer, an enormous machine with limited computing power by today’s standards that weighed 30 tons, took up 1,800 square feet of space, and had close to five million hand-soldered joints. Its development and operation was so expensive, labour intensive, and cumbersome it can be difficult to conceive of a world without the constant, unfettered access to pocket-sized computers, and the infinite webs of information they facilitate access to. Carstairs also noted some of the social changes as a result of automation. The ATM, or automatic teller machine, was introduced in 1967. The machines brought in changes to how people interacted, especially for seniors at the time, some of whom found social connection through daily errands like banking and bill payments. Now, contemporary banking is mostly automated, or remote, and for many people there are very few situations which would necessitate an in-person visit to the bank. Attendees were also treated to the musical stylings of Ed and Richard, from the two-man Lethbridge based band, “The Goodtimers”.

The celebrations continued into Thursday for FCSS’ Senior’s Week Celebration which was held at Coyote Flats Prairie Tractor and Engine Museum, just south of Picture Butte. The event marked an expression of appreciation for older adults and their contributions to their communities and had an excellent turnout, with over 75 seniors in attendance.

Outreach services supervisor for FCSS, Kaitlynn Weaver said, “events like this are so important because seniors have built this community for us, and have led the way for folks like us to be able to benefit from the economy, the land, and community networks. It is really important to acknowledge and celebrate everything they have done, and continue to do for our communities.”

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