Page 1

March 2007

Senior Celebration Festival • March 9

ARTHUR BLACK Embrace Aging Month


Photo: Laura Leyshon

MARCH 2007

Retired sheriff Hans Fredericksen approached his career like he approaches life – with grace. Read his story on page 2. COVER PHOTO: Canada’s legendary funnyman, Arthur Black, proves humour doesn’t have to ridicule to work. Read his story on page 6. Photo: Roy Ferguson Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Sheriff Contributors Norman K. Archer, Pablo Archero, Rhonda Birtwhistle, Wade Clark Jr., Roy Ferguson, Erin Grandy, Janice Hall, Ralph Hocken, Al Keith, Laura Leyshon, Kristjana Magnusson Clark, Starr Munro, Enise Olding, Barbara Pedrick, Bobbie Jo Sheriff, Carrie Smith, Betty Trask, John Warren, Evelyn C. White, Bruce Whittington Design Barbara Risto, Bobbie Jo Sheriff Proofreader Allyson Mantle Advertising Manager Barry Risto For advertising information, call 479-4705 Ad Sales Staff IMG Innovative Media Group (Victoria) Mathieu Powell 250-704-6288 John Dubay 250-294-9700 Ann Lester (Nanaimo) 250-390-1805 Barry Risto (Vancouver) 604-807-8208 Glynn Currie (Nanaimo) 250-327-8005 Distribution Ron Bannerman, Jim Gahr, Bob O’Neill, Ron Peck, Lorraine Rhode, Barry Risto, Betty Risto, Ted Sheaff, Mark Stratford, Tanya Turner Contact Information Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave.,Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 E-mail (General) (Editorial) Web site Subscriptions $32 (includes GST) for 10 issues. Canadian residents only. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Senior Living is an independent publication and its articles imply no endorsement of any products or services. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Unsolicited articles are welcome and should be e-mailed to Senior Living Vancouver Island is distributed free throughout Vancouver Island. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living Vancouver Island (10 issues per year), the Housing Guide (January & July) and Senior Living Vancouver & Lower Mainland (6 issues per year). ISSN 1710-3584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)



2 An Officer and A Gentleman


A retired sheriff recalls life behind the badge.

6 Wit and Wisdom Celebrated writer Arthur Black delivers humour with heart.

8 Tea Revival

Black, green or white, tea is a soothing, healthy beverage.

12 A Passion for Hummingbirds

Cam Finlay anticipates the arrival of the Rufous Hummingbirds, due this month.

14 Embrace Aging

Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation gears up for a month-long event.

16 Senior Celebration Festival

Senior Living magazine hosts its second annual celebration of seniors.

18 Spectacular!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is more than just flowers.

22 The Priceless Prescription

The Haranguing Judge Begbie

38 TASTY TRADITIONS Fond memories and heritage recipes

46 AUTHOR Sid Tafler

Columns 4 The Family Caregiver Barbara Small

26 Ask Goldie Goldie Carlow

28 Scam Alert Mayo McDonough

36 Courageous & Outrageous Pat Nichol

37 Fit for the Adventure Elizabeth Cooper

48 Just Rambling Gipp Forster

and... Home Support Directory 34 Crossword 39 Classifieds 42 Events 44

Scientific evidence proves laughter is still one of the best medicines.

32 Life on the Lights

Evelyn Bruton shares the experience of a life on the lighthouses.

40 Heart-Healthy Cooking Low-fat, good-for-you meals don’t have to be boring.

MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:11:25 PM

An Officer and a Gentleman BY JANICE HALL


Photo: Laura Leyshon


ans Frederiksen values the personal touch. On his birthday each year, he visits Streetlink Emergency Shelter with a supply of his favourite Danish dessert. A natural storyteller, he enjoys invoking the names of celebrities with whom he has chatted as casually as neighbours. He reads only newspapers. “I’m interested in everyday life, the political implications, anything that happens around the world. I like to know what’s going on everywhere – what’s going on in my community,” he says. Hans was born in Sonderborg, a small town in southern Denmark in 1946. Shortly afterward, his father moved his business to a town 40 kilometres away, where Hans remembers the fun of hooking up his sleigh behind the horse-drawn wagons of the garbageman, milkman and freight deliveryman. He and a friend got into trouble one day, riding their bicycles out onto the snow-covered ice of the Baltic Sea. People yelled at them to return to shore. An uncle emigrated to the United States in 1918 and settled in Akron, Ohio, which ignited a desire for change in four of his brothers. They left Denmark for Canada and settled on Vancouver Island. Hans’ family made their new home in Port Alberni where a Danish couple helped his father find a job. For a while, Hans, then 10, was regarded as an outsider.

“It was difficult... They called us immigrant kids. We were all called DPs [deported person(s)] in those days. There were some teachers who didn’t appreciate immigrant kids [while] others embraced us,” he recalls. He attended a special class to learn English, one of 35 students from all over the world – China, India, Poland, France, Germany, Denmark, Holland, and Korea – before being integrated into the school system. The “language problem” delayed his schooling by two years. At home, his family never spoke Danish. “It was always about being Canadian, not anything else.” After high school graduation, Hans got a job at Simpsons-Sears. He moved to Victoria in 1968 to sell floor coverings and furniture at the Sears store in the newly built Hillside Centre. In the spring, he travelled across Canada with a friend, then spent nine months in Denmark, selling bicycles to English-speaking customers in a shop in Haderslev, while getting reacquaint-

ed with his grandmother. He left the uncertainty of a “commission job” when, two years after his return to Canada, he became engaged and then married Rosemary. After a few years working for the B.C. Forest Service as “an office boy at the tender age of 25,” he was hired as one of the province’s first 100 sheriffs. Hans loved the job. “We were the neutral party between the courts and the police and the correction system. We took care of moving prisoners between the court and the jail. We were court security and in those days, we were also the bailiffs.” He remembers the days “when you could count on a con to be true to his word.” On duty as a rookie sheriff in 1974, Hans was recognized by one of 14 prisoners as the man married to his wife’s former classmate at St. Ann’s Academy. When two other prisoners suggested jumping the sheriff to escape, the man, aided by another, told them they would have to go through



2/19/2007 10:12:21 PM


him to get to the sheriff. “They were two guys who were up for extortion, kidnapping, bank robbery and I thought, ‘they’re standing up for me? This is pretty good.’” Hans believes strongly in Canada’s justice system. “It’s better to acquit a guilty person than it is to find an innocent man guilty,” he says. He laughs when recalling a memorable trial conducted before a jury. The defendant was a well-known “kingpin in town.” His lawyer had him under examination and “he addressed him as Mr. Heroin, not even thinking about it. The judge stopped everything and sent the jury out… [The client] ended up being convicted, getting a 20-year stint.” Hans retired from his job after 27 years. “The last 10 years, I was the officer in charge of jury management and the warrant section. I became quite well known for arresting people over the phone. I’d tell them I [had] a warrant for their arrest and they’d better come and see me, otherwise one of the boys would be out to pick them up. Nine out of 10 people would come in. It became kind of a joke around the office. ‘Hans never left his desk. He just picked up the phone.’” Today, he uses his telephone prowess to help people as a volunteer for John Horgan, the NDP MLA for Malahat-Juan de Fuca. “I guide them through the bureaucracy. Because of my job, I met a lot of people who are politically, socially business-oriented. I’m a firm believer in ‘it’s not necessarily what you know, it’s who you know.’ [I know] how to go through the maze and help people that way.” As an afterthought, he adds, “My phone number has always been in the book and when I was working, my wife told me many times... she’d get a phone call to thank her for me being such a gentleman on the job. SL That’s very satisfying.”

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2/19/2007 10:12:24 PM


Community-based Support Services


ommunity-based support services incorporate a range of resources that assist people living at home with tasks of daily living, and help alleviate some of the demands placed on family caregivers. These services include home visitors, walking companions, odd jobs, gardening, reading, letter writing and transportation to appointments or shopping.

Meal programs Some seniors’ centres and residential facilities provide meals to seniors on a drop-in basis. Meals on Wheels and many catering companies will deliver meals to your home. These businesses may offer senior’s discounts and cater to special diets. Grocery delivery services Volunteer-based services exist to assist seniors with grocery shopping. People can place grocery orders by phone or on-line. The grocery service selects the items and makes a home delivery. The delivery service is often free for grocery orders above a minimum amount. Check with your local grocery store. Laundry services In many communities, there are companies that will pick up laundry at your home, wash, dry, fold and deliver it back to your home. The cost for these services varies. Housecleaning services Some housecleaning companies will provide additional services: laundry, moving furniture, taking out garbage and garden work. The rates vary significantly, and not all companies offer a discount to seniors.


Transportation services A number of transportation services exist that benefit seniors. BC Transit and BC Ferries offer discount fares for seniors. BC Transit also offers Taxi Saver coupons and HandiDart. HandiDart is a special door-to-door service for eligible people with disabilities and seniors who are unable to use regular public transit. Some local taxi companies have specially-equipped vehicles available. Equipment supplies and loan cupboards A variety of aids and equipment are available on loan or for purchase to assist seniors or people with various communication, mobility and/or specific personal care needs. These include medical equipment, incontinence supplies, mobility aids, vision aids and hospital beds. Medical alert systems Medical alert systems are 24-hours-a-day/seven-days-aweek monitoring services for frail elders and people with disabilities. The system typically hooks into a person’s phone system. Installation costs and monthly monitoring fees vary from company to company. Community bathing services Community bathing services are for people who cannot safely use the bathing facilities in their own home, even with the installation of devices such as grab bars and bath boards. The program offers attention to personal hygiene provided by a skilled nursing assistant. Services include a tub bath, hair care and care to fingernails and toenails. Contact information for services are available through your regional health authority Home and Community Care Program, the Yellow Pages or local seniors’ organizations. Or you can call the Family Caregivers’ Network (250-384-0408) and we will help connect you with the appropriate resources. In the CRD, Seniors Serving Seniors produces a free Seniors’ Services Directory, which is a comprehensive listing of community services available for seniors. Call 250-382-4331, or visit SL Next month: Preparing for the Move to a Care Facility.

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co ve r

sto ry




e’s an unprecedented three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal – Canada’s highest honour for humour writers. But don’t think life is just a barrel of belly laughs for Arthur Black. Consider the dinner speech he delivered to a national forestry association. The hotel banquet room was filled with several hundred loggers, timber barons and assorted wood industry workers who earn their living from the continuous felling of trees. Text in hand, Arthur surveyed the landscape from the podium. He noted the rising tensions triggered by a logging controversy then raging on Salt Spring Island where the celebrated writer and CBC radio personality has lived since 1995. “Nothing like having a marauder in your backyard to make you think of joining the National Rifle Association,” Arthur joked, making clear his stance in support of the trees. Then marshalling the intelligence, optimism and goodwill that are the hallmark of his writing, Arthur continued: “Can this situation be resolved? Of course it can. That’s what we do as Canadians – we fix things. We may not be as debonair as the French, as flamboyant as the Italians or as forward as the Yanks, but by God, we know how to unclog a toilet, wash 6

down a skunked-up dog or jump-start a jalopy at 40 below. A sane, equitable forest policy ought not to be beyond the reach of a country like Canada.” The audience response? A thundering standing ovation. “I was terrified,” says Arthur, 63, during a visit to the cozy waterfront home he shares with his long-time partner Lynne Raymond (pictured right). “Folks who invite you to give dinner speeches don’t want to be preached at. Still, I was compelled to speak my truth. I think the loggers appreciated my candour.” To be sure, Arthur’s wit and wisdom garnered him legions of fans during his nearly 20-year stint as the signature host of the national CBC Radio show Basic Black. Arthur proudly describes the program as a “rollicking repository for oddballs.” His eyes twinkle when he recalls “The Humline,” a popular segment during which listeners phoned in and warbled a few lines (often mangled) of a song they wished to identify. “Maybe it was a war song, a love song, a lullaby their mother cooed to them in the cradle,” says Arthur. “Humline” definitely touched a chord because people who otherwise never called would get on the horn and belt out a song. They needed to complete something, to renew a connection.” The son of a Toronto-area homemaker and a livestock salesman, Arthur learned early the value of making connections through words. Today the author of numerous books, his byline also graces a syndicated humour column that appears in more than a hundred newspapers across Canada. Still a force on radio, Arthur’s lively commentary on All Points West airs from Victoria at 91.5 FM on alternate Thursdays between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. “As the smallest kid in school, I got picked on a lot,” he says. “I was born running. It helped enormously to develop a fast mouth.” Quick with a thought-provoking quip, Arthur cites as inspiration Charles Dickens and A Prairie Home Companion creator Garrison Keillor. “Keillor is a master at making a point without ridiculing or hu-



2/19/2007 10:13:03 PM


Michèle Boisvert, Pharmacist Photos: Roy Ferguson


miliating people,” Arthur says. “One can conduct humour without cruelty.” He also attributes his success to the insight he gained at a variety of jobs including door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, sheet-metal apprentice, cow wrangler and plumber’s assistant. A seasoned traveller, he is well-versed in the universal foibles of humanity. “When I was 16, I got a job on an oil tanker in Venezuela,” he says. “I soaked up stuff all along the way. When I returned, I took a course in Radio and Television at Ryerson University. I learned to develop a timbre in my voice that sounds phony but works well for radio.” In a scenario that mirrors the “truth is stranger than fiction” thrust of his humour columns, Arthur worked as an agricultural reporter and host of a CBC poetry program before his landmark ascent to Basic Black. He later hosted the television shows Weird

Homes and Weird Wheels on the Life Network. White Rock literary agent Carolyn Swayze has represented Arthur since 1994. She notes that she was captivated from the start by the freewheeling writer of such titles as Pitch Black, Flash Black, and Black by Popular Demand. “I had long been a fan of Basic Black,” Carolyn says. “It was always entertaining. Arthur is a low-maintenance and affable author.” Harbour book publisher Howard White says he jumped at the chance to sign Arthur, whose recent release, Black Gold, was an immediate bestseller. “Some might say here’s a celebrity trying to cash in on his stardust by writing books, but not so with Arthur,” says Howard. “You might win one Leacock Medal by chance, but nobody wins three without having the goods. Arthur is a genuine talent.” SL

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2/19/2007 10:13:05 PM




tea plant belongs to the camellia family (Camellia sinensis), which is indig- enous to China and India. It grows at varying altitudes up to 7,000 feet. At higher altitudes the growth of the plants is slower but the quality is generally better. Only the bud and two top leaves from each stalk are picked for processing. Like wine, each crop reflects the character of the region in which it is grown. China is credited with originating tea cultivation, and tea plants now grow in about 30 countries. The best quality teas, however, still come from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and India. Many legends and stories exist about the origins of tea. Whether it was a Buddhist monk, an Emperor or a cultivator of the times, tea was, and still is, used to nurture the body and uplift the soul. The subtle flavours and health benefits of this marvellous plant make it the world’s most popular beverage after water. TYPES OF TEA It may surprise some, but all teas come from the same plant. The different varieties (black, white, green and oolong) stem from how they are made. The main difference between varieties is how much oxygen the leaves are allowed to absorb during processing. More oxygen produces dark-coloured black teas. Less oxygen results in green tea. Unprocessed leaves are classified as white tea. Black tea is made from leaves that have been fully oxidized, producing a hearty, deep rich flavour. The oxidation process – oxygen coming into contact with the enzymes in the tea leaf – distinguishes black teas from green. This process is also known as fermentation. Examples of black tea include Dar8

jeeling, English Breakfast, Ceylon and many others. Most popular in Asia, green tea is not oxidized (fermented). It is withered, immediately steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried. It is characterized by a delicate taste and light green colour. Green tea has enjoyed resurgence in popularity, thanks to recent scientific findings touting its health benefits. Examples of green tea include Dragon Well (also called Lung Ching), Genmaicha, Gunpowder and many others. Oolong tea is a “semi-fermented” tea that is principally manufactured in China and Taiwan. Oolong tea falls somewhere between Green and Black teas, and can resemble either depending on the way it’s processed. Some oolongs include Ti Kuan Yin, Pouchong, Wuyi and others. White teas are rare. It is the least processed, with no steaming or pan-firing. White tea employs only the best leaf from each tea plant at each harvest. The gentle, subtle taste of white tea is just becoming known in North America and is mainly found on the shelves of specialty tea stores. Examples of white teas include Pai Mu Tan (or White Peony), Silver Needle and White Darjeeling. Flavoured teas are generally made by combining the essential oils of the desired flavour with black, green or white tea. Virtually any flavour imaginable can now be blended with tea. Examples include Cherry Blossom White tea, Earl Grey black tea, Citron Green tea and many others.

flowers, fruits or herbs. No tea leaves are included. Historically imbibed for medicinal reasons or as a caffeinefree alternative, many herbal teas have found their own popularity outside the tea world. The first and arguably most famous herbal is Chamomile, which finds its roots in ancient Egypt. Used to embalm the dead and cure the sick, Chamomile has endured a lasting fame. This light, sweet, apple-like concoction is still revered for its uncanny (caffeinefree) calming effect. Other common herbals include peppermint, spearmint and lavender. A popular addition to the herbal scene is Rooibos (pronounced: royboss). Also known as “Red Bush Tea,” Rooibos is only found in South Africa. It was introduced to the beverage world as a substitute for black tea during the Second World War, when virtually all supplies of Japanese and Chinese teas became unavailable. However, recent health benefits attributed to caffeine-free Rooibos have propelled it to the forefront and are challenging tea in the popularity department. Honeybush, also native to South Africa, is also becoming popular for the same reason. One other popular drink is Yerba Mate. This South American herbal tea has been lauded as a cultural phenomenon that both energizes and remedies the body. Originally stranded in the obscurity of a niche cultural market, it has now been introduced as a substitute for coffee, as it doesn’t contain the toxins, but is still highly stimulating.


Most people are familiar with the term “Orange Pekoe” and assume this

Herbal teas usually consist of dried




2/19/2007 10:13:48 PM

refers to a kind of tea. But, in fact, this term is used by the tea industry to denote a particular size of black tea leaf. One purpose of grading and sorting is to ensure the uniformity of the leaf size. Drinking whole leaf tea allows one to experience a wide range of complex flavour profiles. This does not imply that s m a l l e r, broken leaf tea is of poorer quality, just that a tea’s taste and body will vary depending upon leaf size. For example, breakfast tea like English Breakfast is commonly made with smaller broken leaves to ensure that a pungent and robust cup of morning tea results. For centuries, tea was enjoyed in loose form, but around 1904, tea bags were introduced. Because of the convenience, this resulted in tea bags making up better than 90 per cent of the market. These bags, however, usually contain the lowest grades of tea available, known as “fannings” or “dust.” These are the lowest rankings that tea can achieve, and with this as the new standard, it’s not surprising that tea faded in popularity. Confirmed tea baggers need not despair, however, the quality has since greatly improved. TEA AND HEALTH In recent years, a flood of reports has surfaced, flaunting nearly miraculous effects from drinking green tea. The many diverse benefits of green tea that have, so far, been confirmed by science include cancer prevention, decreased incidents of heart attack, better breath, lower cholesterol, weight loss and general immune strength. As all teas come from the same plant, the benefits are practically equal. So while white tea may provide a few more antioxidants than black tea, this amount is negligible in relation to the benefits. Both would help build immune strength. In ancient China, tea was considered an elixir and initially consumed for its perceived medicinal properties. Today, more scientific evidence contributes to the belief that tea is a healthy beverage. The key to receiving health benefits is for people to drink what they like. To obtain full benefits, doctors recommend drinking three to four cups of tea daily. That’s a lot of tea, so people need to find one that fits their palate. Although tea found in teabags contains similar benefits, the flavour is compromised. While the full extent of tea’s benefits has not been realized, all the information currently available points to one conclusion: “all tea is good for you.” SL

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2/19/2007 10:13:50 PM


on’t do Matthew Baillie Begbie the injustice of inflicting on him the common but ill-deserved title of “Hanging Judge.” That epithet was only applied after his death. The Barkerville Gazette, however, did once carry a report, referring to him as the “Haranging Judge” due to his habit of giving every convicted felon a scolding before passing sentence. So, poor Begbie inherited a name he did not merit, no doubt, due to perhaps both the misspelling of the word by the reporter, and the misreading by the public. To his credit, Begbie disliked the taking of life by any means, even judicially. Statistically, of the 52 murder cases he tried over his long career, he sentenced only 27 to hang. The young Begbie was born either en route via the Cape of Good Hope, or in Mauritius on May 9, 1819. But it was in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France, where Begbie received his high school education. He was a good student, a natural linguist and a talented musician. He loved athletics, amateur dramatics and he loved to be on stage, all of which served him well in his future career. In 1836, he entered Cambridge University to study mathematics and the classics. After graduation, he went to Lincoln’s Inn in London to take up law. On November 22,

The Haranguing Judge Begbie

1844, he was called to the Bar, beginning a long and illustrious legal career. It seems that in London, however, he was not particularly illustrious. But when Governor James Douglas of Victoria asked the Colonial Office in London for a judge who would mete out British justice without fear or favour, the position was offered immediately to Magistrate Begbie. The situation in the Fraser Canyon was precarious. The influx of some 20,000-30,000 gold seekers had strained the administrative resources to the limit. So when a striking, six-foot-four, 39year-old swashbuckling bachelor, looking like Sir Walter Raleigh, stepped off the ship in Esquimalt, Governor Douglas breathed an audible sigh of relief. The two men were cut from the same cloth and immediately saw eye-to-eye in what needed to be done on the goldfields. Begbie lost no time in flexing his muscles at a crisis known as “Ned McGowan’s War.” There was more farce than fact in the case, but the foolhardy activities of the parties concerned in the legal wrangling had precipitated a riot among the miners. Begbie walked in with characteristic flourish and determination, settled the case fairly, and assured the disgruntled American miners that they would always get fair treat-

ment from him. The area needed not only a judge, but also a presence. That presence had to be outstandingly muscular and of a constitution well above average. Begbie lost no time making his presence felt. With grim determination and incredible physical stamina, he walked from Fort Langley to the goldfields at Lillooet and back again, holding court wherever he went. He covered the most impossible terrain and survived the worst of winter storms, trekking hundreds of miles to do his job. During his 36 years in office, the judge visited almost every area of the Province of British Columbia at least once. Sometimes he held court on horseback, on a tree stump, in shacks or barrooms, meting out his own concepts of justice, for many of his decisions were without precedent. Yet no one could accuse him of being anything but absolutely fair, honest and impartial. At a time when such opinions were foreign, Begbie championed the cause of civil rights. The white settlers held the native people in contempt, but on many occasions, he gave a native the benefit of a fair hearing and rendered judgment against his dumbfounded white accuser. Begbie was equally ardent in defending the causes of minority groups. Victoria had passed a number of racially oriented

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2/19/2007 10:13:56 PM


bylaws, directed mainly against the Chinese. One introduced during Begbie’s time, declared Chinese laundries to be a public nuisance and attempted to put them out of business. Begbie’s response: “Blacksmith’s forges are probably more liable to take fire from sparks; butcher’s shops are far more offensive to the eyes, clothes and olfactories of foot-passengers, with greasy and bleeding carcasses lumbering the sidewalks and infecting the air with the odour of meat-curing; stables with their muck-heaps several yards high are more pregnant with pungent and misalubrious gases; large packing cases are more obstructive to the thoroughfare, than anything that can be alleged against these wash-houses. Yet all these other matters, each of which might be termed a nuisance of no common degree, are allowed to exist, clustered together in the very busiest part of the centre of the city without a word of rebuke.” And with that he promptly declared the bylaw invalid. As expected, there were threats on his life, but he was not easily intimidated. One night, he overheard a group of men outside the hotel where he was staying, planning his murder. He stepped out on to his balcony immediately above where they stood and calmly emptied the contents of his chamber pot over their heads.

There was no more talk of murder. One delightful story, which may be apocryphal, conveys the spirit of the man. Begbie condemned an American to death for murder. The convicted man’s American lawyer informed the Judge that he would appeal. “You are fully within your rights to do so,” replied Begbie, “and I will outline for you the procedures. First, you will make your appeal in writing and submit it to me for approval. Then I will forward it to the Supreme Court in Ottawa for review. They will then communicate their findings to me and you will then be informed of their position. But all of this is purely academic, because your client will be hanged tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.” Begbie’s interests went far beyond the law. As the most eligible bachelor in town, he was a frequent guest at all the best homes in Victoria. He was an avid tennis player and had two excellent courts on his own property. His tennis parties were legendary. He was an ardent fisherman and hunter and he took every opportunity during his professional journeys through the province, to avail himself of the sporting facilities of the area. He was a cartographer, a mathematician and an engineer. He redesigned railway bridges to make them more stable.

ro he Arc blo a :P on ati str Illu

Begbie died of cancer on June 11, 1894 at the age of 75. His memorial stone in Ross Bay Cemetery is large, which would not have pleased him since he asked for only the simplest cross. But the words he requested are engraved on the stone, portraying his deep religious convictions. “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Tales of Old Victoria By Norman K. Archer Mountainside Publishing House $11.95 Available at Norman’s booth at the Senior Celebration Festival for the special price of $10 (incl GST) SL

Norman Archer is an historical city tour guide in Victoria.

MARCH 2007



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Photo: Ralph Hocken

A Passion for Hummingbirds


bove ankle-deep snow on Cam Finlay’s driveway, a glass bird feeder hangs, covered with a dome of snow and filled with a clear liquid. A hummingbird feeder in the snow? Yes, for the Anna’s Hummingbird (one of four species in British Columbia) lives year-round on southern Vancouver Island. The hummer that visits the Finlays’ feeder in the snow expanded its range northward in the 1960s, and the population has grown quickly as the area’s winters have warmed. The feeder is monopolized in summer though, by the far more common Rufous Hummingbird. The most northerly ranging of all hummingbirds, it nests across most of B.C. and into southern Yukon and southeast Alaska. The tiny Calliope Hummingbird nests in the southeastern quarter of B.C., and the Black-chinned Hummingbird only in the south Okanagan. These three species appear in the spring to breed, stay for the summer and migrate south again in the fall. Always curious, Cam Finlay wondered how many hummingbirds were coming to the feeder in their Saanich garden, and how he could count them. He learned that hummers drink a


known quantity of nectar every day, and by calculating how much sugar water he was using, he could estimate how many hummers were in the neighbourhood. Astonished to find there were several hundred hummingbirds in the area, Cam’s curiosity peaked. He wanted to know more. While Cam began his working life in geology, he went back to university to become a biologist. His goal was to work in the field of nature interpretation, and he pursued a lead that found him working as one of the first national park rangers in Canada, at Elk Island National Park. He later worked for the City of Edmonton for 24 years at Fort Edmonton Park, and developed the highly regarded John Janzen Nature Centre. When he retired to the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria, the hummingbirds fascinated him. During his graduate studies Cam had captured and banded Purple Martins, and he continues to hold a Master Bander’s permit. He knew banding hummingbirds would allow him to learn more about their migration habits. Hummingbird banding is a specialized field, and few have the skill or required license. Cam met one such bander who loaned him a hummingbird trap and some bands to try his luck in his yard.

“We banded 54 Rufous Hummingbirds that first day, and we never looked back,” says Cam. He realized, however, that he was not technically authorized to continue, so he applied for a permit to band hummingbirds – the first ever issued in Canada. Over the 11 years Cam has banded the tiny birds, the technique has been refined. He now uses a more compact trap with a feeder inside to enclose the birds. Each is removed carefully and slipped into a soft cloth “straitjacket” to calm and stabilize the bird. The band itself, unlike most bird bands, is so tiny that it must be cut manually from a sheet of thin aluminum, shaped, and fitted to the bird’s lower leg. The number is recorded, measurements are taken, and the bird is aged and sexed before it is released. The work starts early in the year. Anna’s Hummingbirds are present all winter, and begin to court and breed in late January. Male Rufous Hummingbirds begin to arrive on southern Vancouver Island about mid-March, and the females about three weeks later. Cam hopes to learn more about hummingbird movements with his research, and works with a network of other volunteer banders in B.C. and elsewhere in North America. For example, monitors in the Alberni Valley have recaptured birds banded on the Mainland. While



2/19/2007 10:14:48 PM

most of the birds banded are Rufous Hummingbirds, Cam’s work has also helped to document the breeding behaviour of the more localized Anna’s Hummingbird. Cam has always worked closely with his wife Joy. Between

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the two, they have authored several books and mentored many naturalists. Retirement for them was a life of new projects. Cam continues to be active in bird banding, and is qualified to train others to do the delicate work. In their “spare time,� Cam works on completing a family history, while Joy is an accomplished potter. For those interested in hummingbird banding, Cam will demonstrate on his property, 270 Trevlac Place, Saanich on Sunday, May 6, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Joy’s pottery will be on display as part of a weekend SL pottery tour. Bruce Whittington is a freelance writer and naturalist living in Ladysmith, B.C. His book, Seasons With Birds, was published in 2004.

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t’s March and that means the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation’s Embrace Aging Month is upon us! Last year’s inaugural Embrace Aging Month was a tremendous success, showcasing senior-serving organizations and resources in our community, not to mention the many active, talented and interesting seniors whose positive approach to growing older continues to inspire us. “One of the most rewarding aspects of Embrace Aging 2006 was sharing the enthusiasm of people who attended our events” said Lori McLeod, Executive Director of the Eldercare Foundation, “Or, how much they, or in many cases, the seniors in their lives, enjoyed this connection with their community.” In 2007, Embrace Aging Month is all about building on last years’ success by reinvigorating awareness and strengthening connections between seniors, their families and the community. The Eldercare Foundation, with the support of the Province of British Columbia, encourages the entire community to learn about the resources available to help embrace the journey of aging. Showcasing and celebrating seniors, promoting healthy living and positive aging are key goals for Embrace Aging 2007. However, rather than hosting events during March only, we want to remind people of the wealth of resources and activities available year-round in the Capital region. “The Province is pleased to support the work of the Greater Victoria

from Dr. Warwick Dobson, University of Victoria Acting Chair and University Scholar in Applied Theatre; Applied Theatre 235 students; Tony Goode, visiting Professor from Royal Scottish Academy Music & Drama, Derby, UK; and Pam Schweitzer, Founder of the Age Exchange Centre and the European Network, London, UK. A series of Intensive Training Workshops, along with an intergenerational Youth Performance Troupe: Die Schlipse, from Kassel Germany is Embrace Aging Month 2007 is for also included. For more information, young and old alike! Special events contact the ATCS office at 385-7260 or visit during March include: Eldercare Foundation, during this milestone month,” said Ida Chong, Minister of Community Services and Minister Responsible for Seniors’ and Women’s Issues. “We applaud the Foundation’s work in raising awareness about services for seniors, an important message contained in the recent Aging Well in BC report, for which our government is currently developing a comprehensive, long-term action plan.”

SENIOR CELEBRATION FESTIVAL Presented by Senior Living Magazine, the Senior Celebration Festival takes place at Pearkes Recreation Centre on March 9, 2007 from 10am till 4pm. Enjoy the many talents and achievements of our senior community at this fun day-long event. Admission is by donation. Remember to stop by the Eldercare Foundation booth for information on everything going on during Embrace Aging Month.


Hosted by the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, this month-long series of events incorporates a variety of activities, presentations, support group meetings and educational workshops to create wellness for mind, body and spirit. Featured workshops include “A Naturopathic Approach to Anxiety” (March 14), “Physical Safety for Women” (March REMINISCENCE THEATRE 15), “BCAA Mature Driving” (March 20) and “When You Need Help, Who FESTIVAL A collaborative project presented Do You Call and How” (March 22). by University of Victoria Theatre De- All public events are free. partment and Applied Theatre ConFor more information about sulting Services, the Reminiscence Embrace Aging Month 2007, Theatre Festival takes place March please call the Eldercare 10-12 at UVic. The festival showFoundation at 370-5664, cases the work of local and European visit, or stop by Reminiscence Theatre Companies our booth at the Senior through a varied series of presentaCelebration Festival tions, performances and intensive on March 9th. workshops. These include new works




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Embracing art, fitness, education, family and wellness are essential parts of a positive, healthy life for young or old.

March 2007 Victoria, BC

During the month of March, the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation, with the support of the Province of British Columbia, invites you to connect with Victoria’s elder friendly community. Explore the many resources, activities and educational opportunities available year-round to help embrace the journey of aging. Look for a full listing of events on our website at An initiative of the

1454 Hillside Avenue Victoria, BC V8T 2B7 250-370-5664

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We acknowledge the ďŹ nancial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Community Services. MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:15:31 PM

Senior Celebration Festival 2007


Come be INSPIRED! Come have FUN!

enior Living magazine is hosting its Second Annual Senior Celebration Festival at Pearkes Recreation Centre. Mark March 9, 2007 on your calendar and come celebrate with us. Nearly 70 senior exhibitors from all walks of life will be showcased at the festival, along with over 40 senior-focused businesses offering products and services to enhance your lifestyle. It’s a full day of fun, complete with non-stop lively entertainment including dance, music and storytelling! Here’s just a taste of what you can expect. Crafters and artisans of all types will have their handiwork on display and offer demonstrations. Check out a new hobby, like mushroom collecting, geneology, computing, or stamp collecting. Want to become more active? From lawn bowling and horseshoe pitching to track and field, cycling, strength training, and just plain walking — we have seniors who can show you how to improve your level of fitness and have fun doing it. Watch local artists at work. Shake hands with a well-seasoned artist, or find out how to join a local art club. Around a dozen authors will display their books. Purchase a copy and get it autographed on the spot. Or discover how you can indulge your own creative side by joining a local writer’s group. If you’re looking for community involvement, seniors from various volunteer organizations and clubs can tell you what they do to stay active and involved.

Senior Celebration Festival ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

10:25 AM 10:40 AM 10:55 AM 11:00 AM 11:25 AM 11:345 AM 12:10 PM 12:35 PM 1:00 PM 1:20 PM 1:40 PM 2:05 PM 2:25 PM 2:50 PM 3:15 PM 3:30 PM


(times and performers subject to change)


Take a walk back in history - see displays of early Victorian costuming, as well as aviation and maritime artifacts. Several Model T cars pay tribute to the formative years of the automobile. Find out more about Victoria’s past from attending historians, including the always popular Old Cemeteries Society. Well-known radio announcer Barry Bowman and motivational speaker Pat Nichol will host the day’s entertainment. (See schedule below.) Festival doors open at 10 a.m., entertainment begins at 10:25 a.m., with Opening Ceremonies featuring local and provincial dignitaries at 10:55 a.m. Extra handicapped parking will be available, as well as a Park & Ride bus, courtesy of Berwick House, which will tour the Tillicum Mall parking lot to pick up anyone wanting a lift from or to their vehicle. Kettle Creek Catering will be offering a tasty selection of both hot and cold lunch items at an on-site cafe. Admission is by donation. Your generosity ensures we can continue to bring you this festival year after year. Enter your name in our free door prize draw for a 4-day SailPass for two from BC Ferries. Finally, we need lots of volunteer help behind the scenes - before, during and after the festival. Please call Sandy at 383-0133 if you can lend your services for a few hours.

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Senior Celebration Festival


Friday, March 9, 2007 10 am - 4 pm

Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Road, Victoria, BC

Showcasing the multiple talents and achievements of seniors in our community • Over 60 eye-catching exhibits by seniors and senior groups • Performance Stage 10:25am - 4pm with over a dozen performances, including dancers, musicians, singers, actors, storytellers, etc. • Approximately 40 exhibits by senior-focused businesses and organizations

• Admission by donation • Free parking • Door prizes • On-site café


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2/19/2007 10:15:49 PM

SPECTACULAR! throughout April. And what started with five activities has blossomed into 40 events and activities, engaging business owners, fundraising groups, volunteers and locals. Beginning March 31, the Kiwanis Club will serve their traditional Salmon Barbecue daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the historic Hillcrest Lodge. Club members estimate they serve between 10,000-12,000 meals each year. There’s special pricing for seniors and groups of 15 or more can e-mail their orders in advance to Larger events are organized around the weekends, but there’s plenty to do during the week. “People enjoy touring the gardens,” says Verge, “but they should allow themselves enough time to poke around the Valley and [embrace] the agricultural flavour of our area.”

Photos this page: Wade Clark Jr.


hen the burly, unaffected tour bus driver entered the farmer’s field, the clouds made way for the sun, casting dazzling light on brilliant colour. The sight overtook him as his eyes welled with tears: “I’ve never seen anything this beautiful.” What he saw was row upon row of tulips. Blooms as far as the eye could see, like Dorothy’s poppy field in 1939 blockbuster The Wizard of Oz. “People are truly amazed when they see the sight of hundreds of acres of tulips,” says Cindy Verge, executive director of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. “Even if you’re not a flower fan, you’ll be impressed by the fields of flowers you’ll see.” With the area’s ideal climate conditions, tulips have long been a lucrative crop in the Skagit Valley, 112 km south of Vancouver. Hundreds of visitors would drop by every year at the dawn of spring to take in the sights and smells of Mother Nature. So, in 1984, the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce decided to celebrate the Valley’s rich agricultural heritage by launching the first annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Today, Verge estimates they welcome between 300,000-400,000 visitors

There’s a month-long art show, and a two-day quilt show that attracted over 3,000 people last year. Visitors come from as far away as Korea, Israel and Europe. Verge says 12 per cent of the Festival-goers venture down from British Columbia, and many more flock from all corners of the United States. Hawaii residents are especially captivated with the tulip fields since tulips do not grow in Hawaii. And the same goes for Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, where winters never get cold enough to create natural growing conditions for the spring bloom. In addition to the farmers’ fields where visitors can tramp around in the mud, there are two display gardens – Roozengaarde and Tulip Town. Here, nature has a little help, so the tulips are in bloom the entire month. In the fields, the bloom happens when the tulips are ready. “The busiest day of the Festival is the sunniest Saturday in April, when the tulips are in full bloom,” says Verge. When that is, is anybody’s guess. But Verge assures there is “always” a bloom in April. Behind the scenes, the Festival only has two paid staff, but hundreds of volunteers work tirelessly to make the annual event a success.

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“We couldn’t work the Festival without our volunteers,� says Verge, “and many of them are senior citizens.� On April 14 in La Conner, the Festival Parade will get underway at 2 p.m. Two stages will host performances and there’ll be a salmon dinner, activities for the grandkids and the Shriners for a laugh. Verge suggests packing gardening mud shoes to trudge around the tulip fields. The weather at this time of year can be unpredictable, so be prepared for cold, clouds, rain, sleet, wind, sun and warmth – all within a

A couple dances during the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival parade.

30-minute block. For visitors with mobility challenges, the display gardens have either gravel or paved walkways. And the magnificence of most farmers’ fields can be viewed from the comfort of a car. To request a brochure or download it online, visit or telephone SL 1-360-428-5959. MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:16:04 PM

Tuning in on Taxes BY STARR MUNRO


ith the onset of spring comes the tedious reality of tax season. Whether a person is 25 or 65, tax preparation can be an onerous, frustrating and time-consuming burden. Seniors often have the added challenge of multiple sources of income, such as Old Age Security Pension, Canadian Pension, retirement allowances, annuity payments, RRSPs, RRIFs, Capital Gains and investment income. With all the income options potentially available, retirees may feel they need a math degree or accounting background to wrap their heads around what is required of them at tax time. For those who are not trained accountants, the best approach to tax preparation is to work with a professional. Establish a financial plan, keep good records, and work with experts who know the “ins and outs” of the tax system, especially those familiar with the requirements and needs of seniors. In an attempt to address the many questions retirees and adults 55 and over have about their taxes, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has developed a number of informational resources specific to the needs of seniors. “There are two important questions seniors should ask themselves before they prepare to file their taxes,” says Dave Morgan, Communications Manager for the CRA. “The first question is, ‘Have I received information slips and/or recorded information about all my sources of income, both inside and outside Canada?’ And, ‘Have I recorded and kept receipts for eligible deductions and credits such as medical expenses, charitable donations, RRSP contributions, etc.?’” “Senior’s should determine what types of income from all sources, both inside and outside Canada, they will have and how they will pay the applicable taxes,” says Morgan. Pre-planning can’t be stressed enough when it comes to effective tax preparation. Most people tend to wait until spring to think about their taxes, but the reality is that many tax frus-



trations can be avoided by thinking ahead. By developing a financial plan in early retirement years, regularly organizing all the paperwork related to income sources during the year, and assessing tax requirements, seniors can avoid unexpected surprises come tax time. “One of the greatest mistakes most seniors make, when it comes to their taxes, is not arranging to have sufficient taxes deducted at [the] source. As seniors often have multiple income sources, the amount of taxes withheld at [the] source, while sufficient for each income source on its own, may not be sufficient when combined with all other income sources.” This can result in seniors owing a large amount upon filing their return, which is often difficult for people on a fixed income. To reduce the impact of paying taxes in a lump sum each year, the CRA provides the option of paying taxes in regular installments throughout the year. If, for more than one year, taxpayers receive income but do not have tax withheld, or do not have a sufficient amount of tax withheld, the CRA may require they pay their tax by installments. Payments are arranged on the 15th of March, June, September and December of each calendar year. Whether taxpayers prepare their own taxes or hire someone to do them, seniors or retirees will want to know about changes that will affect their 2006 tax return.

What’s new for 2006? • Age Amount (line 301) - The maximum amount has increased to $5,066. • Pension income amount (line 314) - The maximum amount of eligible pension income that can be used to calculate the credit has increased to $2,000. • Refundable medical expense supplement (line 452) - The maximum amount has increased to $1,000. The CRA has a number of services to assist people in filing their taxes such as the enquiries telephone service, Telefile (phone filing service), Netfile (web filing service) and the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. The CRA has also developed a special “Service for Seniors,” which allows seniors to file their 2006 tax return for free, using a touch-tone telephone. This system only requires seniors to identify themselves and answer a few “yes” or “no” questions. Taxpayers must be invited to try the new service, and only those over age 65, with limited income sources and a taxable income in 2005 of less than $10,500, will receive an invitation. For more information call CRA at 1-800-959-8281 or visit: SL menu-e.html



2/19/2007 10:16:16 PM

Glengarry, Aberdeen, Mt. Tolmie and Priory long-term care facilities are home to many of the elderly in our community. Help us ensure their home is as comfortable as yours. Please give generously to our Comforts of Home Makeover Campaign for improvements and equipment.


For donation information: ph: (250) 370-5664 or visit:

The Comforts of Home Makeover Campaign

Yes, I would like to help. Enclosed is my tax deductible gift of: $1,000 POther $ _________________ P P$500 P$250 P$100 P$50 Name: __________________________________________________ PVisa PMastercard PAMEX Address:_________________________________________________

Card #: __________________________________


Expiry date: ______________________________

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MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:16:22 PM

The Priceless Prescription BY AL KEITH


nd now go and rent some funny videos! Have some good laughs tonight. Then call me in the morning and tell me if you feel better!” Is this strange advice coming from a doctor? Well, perhaps not, since more and more Health professionals – in and out of hospital settings – are “prescribing” laughter as medication. When one-time Saturday Review Editor, Norman Cousins, fell ill with a life-threatening illness, he checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel room. This, he stocked with humorous books and funny videos, including the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges. “If all fails, at least I’ll die laughing,” Cousins quipped. But he was dead serious. And it didn’t take him long to discover that 10 minutes of good belly laughter resulted in several hours of painless sleep. It was his Marathon laugh sessions, and his growing sense of humour, that helped Cousins beat long odds and heal himself, as he recounts in his book, Anatomy of an Illness. “There is little doubt that the human body is its own best drugstore,” he stressed. A growing number of independent studies have found that the immune systems of test subjects strengthen after watching funny videos – and even remained stable during the show of

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more serious films afterwards, according to M. Berger, MD, author of The Immune Power Diet, and Forever Young. Because of the growing evidence showing that laughter may be among the simplest and possibly the most powerful health boosters, more and more health professionals are looking seriously at laughter as medicine. Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California have also studied the effects of laughter on the human immune systems. Their published studies have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexibility and boosts immune functions by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells. Even Freud viewed a sense of humour as one of body’s best defense mechanisms, describing it as “a rare and precious gift.” More astonishing evidence of laughter power comes from a 1997 study of 48 heart attack patients. Half of the group watched comedic shows for 30 minutes every day, while the rest served as controls. After one year, 10 patients in the control group suffered repeated heart attacks, compared with only two in the groups that watched the funny videos. “Make a silliness check at 4 p.m. each afternoon,” suggests Steve Allen, MD, son of comedian Steve Allen, and assistant

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2/19/2007 10:16:27 PM

professor of family medicine at the State University of New York Health Science Center. Psychiatrist William F. Fry, MD, associate clinical professor emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine, is another strong proponent for the power of laughter. “When you laugh, your body responds,” he says. “You flex, then relax 15 facial muscles, plus dozens of others all over your body. Your pulse and respiration increase briefly, oxygenating your blood. And your brain experiences a decrease in pain production due to the creation of pleasure giving endorphins.” Psychotherapist Joyce Anisman-Saltman teaches executives, teachers and others to take responsibility for putting more laughter into their lives. An assistant professor of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, she stresses that laughter brings on a whole host of beneficial changes, including breaking the cycle of psychological negativity that people tend to fall into at times. Not surprising, the good news about laughter is spreading. In Germany, seminars and workshops on laughing teach no-nonsense, serious-minded executives and politicians the importance of learning to laugh more freely, and more often. They teach that humour is a survival skill that relieves tension and keeps people fluid and flexible, instead of becoming rigid and breakable in the face of repeated and severe changes. But laughter is also a social activity. Research has shown that in the company of others people laugh 30 times more than when they are alone. Mrs. Keith, an upbeat person all her life, who lived to 96, knew all about the power of laughing. Even during the terror of wartime, with the bombs and the general hardship, she and her friends met each week for their coffee klatches, where only positive topics were discussed, and funny stories and the latest jokes produced such healthy bouts of hilarity, that even the neighbours had to smile. Laughter helps people forget their problems and fears, and allows them to lose themselves for a moment. Psychologists confirm that individuals who laugh easily and frequently have better self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life. “Focus on the funny stuff and try to find humour in everyday life,” is the way Joe Goodman, Ed.D. director of the Humor Project in Saratoga Springs, New York, puts it. Goodman advises people to collect jokes and funny stories to amuse themselves and others. So, develop humour in day-to-day life and remember to laugh. Early childhood memories may include bouts of belly laughter brought on by circus clowns. After all, court jesters and clowns have been the purveyors of laughter in the old Roman Forum, and at the courts of the high and mighty of yesteryear. Just as they still do at rodeos and other happy gatherings. “When it comes to the people’s health, it would be far better if a troupe of clowns entered the city, than a caravan loaded with all the treasures of Egypt.” SL Keep on laughing! It’s good healthy fun!

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ak Bay residents and Goward House members Eric Horsley and Paul Redchurch have more in common than their interest in painting. Eric and Paul were both born and raised in Hull, Yorkshire, England from whence, independently and unknown to one another, they arrived in British Columbia in 1957 where they toiled – Eric for B.C. Tel and Paul for the B.C. Government and the B.C. Systems Corporation – and raised their families. Through mutual friends, they became a s - sociated with one another shortly after arriving in

Eric Horsley(left) and Paul Redchurch (right) will be displaying their art at Goward House this month. Right, a sample of Paul’s work and, below right, a sample of Eric’s work.

Changing Places personalizes their services to your unique moving needs At Changing Places we believe that every moving experience is unique and deserves personalized service delivered respectfully by caring and trustworthy staff. Our service is built through the experience of successfully moving over a thousand seniors since 1991. Just the thought of moving usually raises most people’s blood pressure. It can be the cause of sleepless nights and much anxiety. We know that involving Changing Places and its team of dedicated and bonded staff in your next move will give you peace of mind and support in this huge and complex task. We understand the responsibility of caring for your possessions, assisting in making difficult decisions and taking care of all the details involved in your move. The first step we should all take is to regularly go through a downsizing exercise. Changing Places would love to be invited to your home for a free consultation on downsizing and discussion on what your housing needs are as well as, at the time of a move, assistance in coordinating your move, house clearing (selling, donating and disposal of unwanted goods, packing and unpacking, moving and organizing your new home. We promise you that, by the end of your moving day, your bed is made, rooms set up, all packing materials removed and kitchen ready for use. The daughter of a client we moved recently wrote to us saying, “You really were there for my mum during every step of her move. Thank you. Living in Toronto and not able to be there for mum during her move was very upsetting but as soon as you were involved I knew it was going to be okay.” An Advertising Feature of Senior Living magazine 24

Victoria, but it wasn’t until they were both retired that a camaraderie was established based on mutual interests: walking, singing, drinking coffee, gossiping, solving the world’s problems and, oh yes, painting. Now, 50 years after arriving in this community, these two “Tykes” (Yorkshiremen) wish to mark the occasion by coming together to “celebrate a century” (1957-2007, times two), and they invite the public to join in the HULLABALLOO, marked by a combined showing of their works. Lucky visitors might get some “nosh” too. March 1-29, Goward House Art Show, 2495 Arbutus Road, Victoria, 250-477-4401, e-mail: gowardhouse@shaw. ca Open Weekdays: 9a.m. to 4p.m. Artists’ Reception and Open House: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 4. SL



2/19/2007 10:16:48 PM

IF YOU ARE 55+ JOIN US Archery,Badminton,Bocce, Bridge, Carpet Bowling, Cribbage, Cycling, Darts, Disc Golf, Dragon Boat Racing, Five Pin Bowling, Floor Curling, Golf, Horseshoes, Ice Curling, Ice Hockey, Lawn Bowling, Mountain Bike Racing, One Act Plays, Slo-Pitch, Snooker, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track and Field,Whist.


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For the Health of it!

for more information call Zone Director Marilyn Kraeker at 250-389-1327 or


Cowichan Cares

n March 31, the Cowichan Community Centre will open its doors for the first annual Senior Care Expo, sponsored by the Cowichan Seniors Care Foundation (CSCF). The day’s events will include entertainment, information, displays, demonstrations, refreshments and prizes. Cowichan Seniors Care Foundation, a non-profit foundation, was established to support the needs of all seniors in the Cowichan Valley. The emphasis on “aging in place” means the community has a greater responsibility to cover the needs of seniors for equipment, programs and services, where there is no government funding. Among the volunteers working behind the scenes at CSCF is Janice Macallister, who has been a volunteer since September. She believes strong-

ly in this project because it educates people about the importance of seniors as contributing members of society. “Seniors are the greatest wasted resource in our community,” says Janice. “We’re all going to be seniors one day. There’s a lack of focus on that end of the spectrum. The focus has always been on younger generations.” Janice contributes to the project by helping with administrative duties, like “stuffing envelopes” and approaching local businesses about getting involved. In addition, Janice and other volunteers will help with the set-up, running and clean up of the event. For Janice, the most rewarding aspect of volunteering with CSCF is spending time with other people in her community. Sharing gen-

News Brief

erational respect and working together as a team, says Janice, is the group’s strength. “We’re far more powerful when we work together,” she says. The Senior Care Expo, which focuses on seniors living well in the Cowichan Valley, begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Carol Hunt at 250-715-6481 or e-mail at SL

MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:16:52 PM

people and develop new interests. However, you need time for you first. Daily walking is a great habit, and a means to clear thinking and insight to life ahead. Best of luck!


Photo: Jason van der Valk


Dear Goldie:


Dear Goldie:

Dear R.A.:

My life seems to be at a standstill since I recently retired. After years in a business office working as a secretary, I was looking forward to this period of my life, with no commitments and time for fun. However, I feel tired and have no ambition to do anything. I am a 64-year-old widow, in good health and active. My two sons and three grandchildren live on the East Coast, so I have no family here. I do, however, have many friends and some social life. What can you suggest to get my life moving in a new direction? R.A.

You mention that your retirement is recent, so my immediate thought is that you need a period to relax, after all those years in the business world. First on the agenda, you could check with your doctor regarding your fatigue. All being well, you could make yourself a plan. You might begin with a visit to your family. When you return, you can make definite plans for social engagements with friends, and eventually travel. You are beginning a new stage of life. Between travelling and social events, you will find time on your hands. Why not look into volunteering? It can be very rewarding, and a way to meet new

We’ve got the Island Covered with BPS Dentures The “Biofunctional Prosthetic System” or BPS is a coordinated system of high quality materials, instrumentation and techniques that result in a natural and efficient denture. A quality life includes a quality denture and BPS can provide you with the esthetics, comfort and function to eat and smile with confidence. UNCAN D D ENTAL

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I am a 70-year-old male, active, healthy and have a wonderful lady friend. My life was really great until about six weeks ago when a crazy lady moved into the apartment next door. Life has been hell ever since! Every time I leave my apartment, she seems to be waiting in the hall for me. She grabs my arm and begins an idiotic conversation. Her chatter, plus her excessive makeup and perfume, would turn anybody off. But she seems all set to snare a man! I don’t want to move because I like where I live and have been here five years. I can’t take this any longer. What should I do? M.D.

Dear M.D.: You really do have a problem, and while some might find it an amusing situation, it certainly infringes on your privacy. You have been a tenant for several years, so you could ask your landlord to intervene. I doubt he wants to lose a good tenant. Another tactic would be to have your lady friend tell her you are taken, and hands off! Good luck! I (and our readers) would like to hear how you make out. SL

SENIOR PEER COUNSELLING CENTRES Victoria (250)382-4331 Duncan (250)748-2133 Nanaimo (250)754-3331 Sidney (250)655-4402 Courtenay/Comox (250)334-9917 Salt Spring Island (250)537-4607 Port Hardy (250)949-5110

Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer. E-mail questions or comments to editor@seniorlivingmag. com or send a letter to Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria, BC V8T 2C1.



2/19/2007 10:16:57 PM

Senior-Friendly Services? Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)ÂŽ

This can be YOUR GUARANTEE when you work with a CERTIFIED SENIOR ADVISOR (CSA) . ÂŽ

CSA’s are professionals from a variety of industries and services who have made the commitment and the investment to learn more about the processes of aging so that they can provide even greater levels of effective, sensitive, and relevant service to their mature clients. From Caregiving, Estate Planning, Spirituality, to Ethics, CSA’s study 24 different topics about aging. CSA’s must sign a Code of Professional Responsibility to commit to a higher standard of service, and must participate in a program of on-going continuing education.

CSA’s realize that “A life well lived deserves professionals well trained!� People First. Products Second. Seniors ALWAYS.

When you choose a professional who has earned the CSA designation, you can rest assured that you are working with someone who has committed to addressing the issues that are important to you. You are to be treated with respect, honesty and understanding. This is a relationship you can trust, and a referral you can make with confidence.

Make sure all professionals who serve you have obtained their Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)ÂŽ designation. You deserve no less.   "

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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)ÂŽ 2/19/2007 10:17:18 PM

BBB Better Better Better Better


Business Business Business Business

Bureau Bureau Bureau Bureau


Becoming Fraud Aware

arch is Fraud Prevention month across Canada. The Better Business Bureau (BBB), law enforcement, banks, businesses and other consumer and business protection agencies join forces to educate the public so they can recognize, report and stop fraud. While it may be hard to believe that one could become a victim of fraud, the reality is that thousands of people, of all ages and ethnicities, fall victim to identity theft, email and phone fraud each year. In the last month, the BBB learned that the parent company of Winners and HomeSense had their consumer database hacked into, which exposed the personal information of over two million Canadians. Talevest Mutual Funds had a hard drive go missing during transport between Montreal and Toronto that led to the disappearance of personal data for 470,000 clients. The Canadian Department of Finance reported the distribution of fraudulent (phishing) e-mails, which promised a tax refund if an appended form requesting personal information was filled in and returned. And the RCMP dismantled a telemarketing fraud ring that targeted consumers with poor credit histories, falsely offering debt consolidation and reduced interest rates, for a fee. On a smaller scale, consumer after consumer called the BBB after receiving phones calls stating they had won a vacation prize package. Many were asked to provide their credit card number in order to book their free holiday vacation. And every day, consumers receive e-mails, phone calls and mail promising large lottery winnings that can be cashed in for a comparatively small fee. No matter what the scam, the purpose of these elaborate plots is to steal people’s financial information or their “identity,” so 28


that the scam artist can profit, while the victim suffers. Scam artists are creative and savvy at pulling these stunts off, and everyone is susceptible. Statistics compiled by PhoneBusters in 2005 and 2006 demonstrate the degree to which phone fraud has evolved in the past couple of years. In 2005, there were 12,409 reported cases of identity fraud in Canada, totalling nearly $9 million in losses. In 2006, there were 7,778 reported cases, totalling over $16 million in losses. There may be fewer victims one year to the next, but the financial impact of ID theft has increased dramatically over the past two years. Another interesting statistic is the age range and financial losses experienced by victims of telemarketing prize and lottery frauds. In 2005, 72 per cent of reported victims of this type of fraud were under 60 year of age, while 28 per cent were over 60. The total average dollar loss per victim was about $11,000. In 2006, 60 per cent of victims were under 60, while 40 per cent were over. The total average dollar loss per victim in 2006 was closer to $5,000. This means between 2005 and 2006, victims lost less on average to telemarketing prize and lottery fraud, but more seniors became victims. And the impact of a $5,000 loss to many seniors can be devastating. Rather than being terrified one might become a victim of fraud, the BBB recommends people take the time to educate themselves about the different scams and frauds that could impact them. PhoneBusters has detailed descriptions of current scams. Visit www. for more information. The BBB posts regular news alerts on our Web sites about new scams impacting our region. Visit the current alerts page at

Victims of a fraud or scams should not be embarrassed to report it. By reporting incidents of fraud, not only do victims help themselves, they also provide enforcement agencies with valuable information they can use to catch the thieves. What to do when fraud is identified: • Victims of fraud should contact their local RCMP Detachment or police service. Also, be sure to contact financial institutions to report the fraud, and patiently work with them to see if the money can be returned. In many cases, money lost to fraud cannot be recovered. • Forward a copy of fraudulent e-mail to PhoneBusters at info@phonebusters. com where their intelligence gathering unit, called the Canadian Anti-fraud Call Centre (CAFCC), collects and reviews such scams. • Nigerian/West-African letters received via e-mail or mail should be forwarded to PhoneBusters as well. PhoneBusters is interested in copies of any “new” versions of Nigerian letter schemes, particularly those involving Canadian mailing addresses or telephone numbers. • To verify the legitimacy of an offer, contact the BBB to check out the company and discuss the potential offer or scam before sharing any personal information. The BBB will often know if a scam is being targeted in a specific area, and work with enforcement agencies to share information about suspect companies. SL

Mayo McDonough is the Executive Director of the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island. If you believe you have been the target or victim of a scam, please call the Better Business Bureau Vancouver Island at 386-6348 in Greater Victoria or at 1-877-826-4222 elsewhere on the Island, so others can benefit from your experience. E-mail



2/19/2007 10:17:19 PM

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Oops! In the article, “Offering Hope,” page 18, we mistakenly called serial killer Pickton (Robert William) “Pickerton.” We apologize for the error. In the “Planned Giving: Leaving a Legacy” article, page 20, the following sentence was inaccurate: “The value of all your assets, at the time of death, will be taxable income on the final tax return.” It should have read: “When someone passes away, they are generally deemed to have disposed of all their assets at fair market value, which may or may not give rise to taxable gains.”

199 Dallas Road


In the article “Move Over Meat and Potatoes,” page 32, we incorrectly called lacto-ovo vegetarians “lavo-octo vegetarians.” Our apologies. MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:17:27 PM

Strategies for Communication BY RHONDA BIRTWHISTLE


ommunication between the hard of hearing and those with regular hearing can often frustrate both parties. Simple strategies, however, can help the hearing impaired understand the conversation. Hearing people often have little understanding of what it is like to live with a hearing deficit. Generally, they believe if they speak louder they will be understood. This may be true for those with a conductive hearing loss, however, seniors often have a sensorineural deficit, which involves both a reduction in the ability to hear sounds and an inability to hear speech clearly. Even with hearing aids, consonants are often hard to discriminate, and words become difficult to decipher. Listening is like trying to understand a foreign language, and therefore requires concentration, which can be tiring. Janet Holland, an audiologist with The Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, says the phrase, “He can hear when he wants to” is rarely correct. “There are so many variables that affect the ability to hear and understand,” says Holland. “There is a lot of communication that does not work because people do not know how to enhance understanding.” Holland believes the environment is crucial to good communication. Eliminating background noise is essential.

Good lighting helps gather important information from facial expressions and lip movements (speech reading). Combining visual information with what is heard markedly increases understanding. The skill of the speaker is important in helping listeners understand the message, but both parties have a responsibility to foster comprehension. The strategies used by good speakers (see sidebar) are simple, but require constant awareness. “Most people use them for 30 seconds, then forget” says Holland. Listeners need to tell the speaker what to do to aid comprehension, like “speak slower” or “don’t turn away,” for example. Then, gently remind them when they forget, and thank them when they remember. Restaurants, parties, meetings and groups, where several people speak at once are problem environments for com-

munication. Whenever possible, choose a booth, or a table in a back corner of a quiet restaurant outside peak times. At parties, try talking to one or two people in a quiet corner. In all situations, choose a seat where hearing is optimal. Knowing what topic is being discussed is vital to understanding; anticipating words aids their recognition. Preparation before attending meetings or groups is also helpful. Get the meeting agenda in advance; skim the newspaper to find the topics of conversation most likely to arise. Asking someone in the group to indicate when the topic of conversation changes and what it has changed to can make group meetings less stressful. Those with a hearing deficit may need to improve their communication skills. “People who find hearing difficult may develop poor listening skills,” says Holland. “It is important to concentrate when listening.” When listeners say, “Pardon me?” because they don’t understand, speakers generally repeat their original statement. Be specific. “I heard everything but the last word,” is more helpful. Attention to using strategies that increase comprehension by the hearing impaired will reduce the isolation they sometimes feel. It also results in less frustration for those communicating with them.

Subscribe to Senior Living and bring your favourite magazine right to your door! Purchase a subscription to Senior Living for just $32 and never miss an issue! If you would like the convenience and reliability of having Senior Living - Vancouver Island mailed to you for a year (10 issues), complete and send this form, along with a cheque for $32, to: Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 30


Name __________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________

‰ Yes, I would like to subscribe to Senior Living Vancouver Island (10 issues) for the annual cost of $32.

City ___________________________________________________ Province ________________ Postal Code ____________________

‰ Enclosed please find my cheque for $32. (Includes GST and S & H)



2/19/2007 10:17:44 PM

Strategies for talking to the hard of hearing: • get their attention before speaking • choose a quiet place, or turn off background noise • face them from a 3-6 feet distance • keep your face and lips visible: don’t hide your mouth with your hands, chew, smoke or turn your head away • speak clearly but don’t shout • speak slightly more slowly than usual; don’t mouth your words • state the topic in the first sentence • use short sentences and simple words • rephrase the sentence if they don’t understand • write down the message if necessary


Call (250) 727-0921

Dedicated to making a Difference

Resources: Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre #300-1627 Fort St. Tel: 592-8144 Provides a range of services, information, activities, and training for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and their families. Canadian Hard Of Hearing Association #232-645 Fort St. Tel: 388-6854 Provides advocacy and information for the hard of hearing, classes and practice sessions in speech reading, and a SL monthly get-together.

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Wallace Driving School 38-DRIVE (383-7483) email: "Specialists in helping seniors maintain their independence." MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:17:46 PM

Life On The Lights BY ENISE OLDING


Photos: Enise Olding

’ll give it a year and if I don’t like it I’ll leave!” oversaw the tuition keeping to a tight schedule, which mirrored That’s the deal Evelyn Bruton made with her her- regular school hours. self when she was 19 and headed out on her own With Jim’s promotion, Chrome Island Lightstation, off the from Ellerslie, Alberta to Vancouver. Unbeknownst to her, tip of Denman Island in Georgia Strait and about a mile east she’d make a similar deal in the future that would change her of Deep Bay on Vancouver Island, was their next home. In the life forever. warm summer waters, it was here that Evelyn and the children Within two days of her arrival in Vancouver, Evelyn land- learned to swim. They also enjoyed abundant bounty from the ed a job as a stenographer and life looked grand. When she sea: oysters, clams, scallops, abalone, cod and salmon. A rare met James he was logger and later, after they married, Evelyn and wonderful experience, Evelyn recalls. joined him in the logging camps Most lighthouses, at that time, of British Columbia where she were still run on kerosene burnparticipated in camp life, and ers, which entailed more work moved from camp to camp, than the electric models. The where the work took them. prisms had to be cleaned daily Jim had previously been “on and, if there was a flare-up, all the the lights” as a junior keeper windows in the lighthouse had to and when he saw an ad in the be cleaned. Other challenges inVancouver paper for an opencluded the minimal availability of ing, he was eager to apply. electrical power, limited drinking “Of course, I knew nothing water and lack of household apabout lighthouses and had no pliances that today’s generation idea how you’d get there,” retake for granted. calls Evelyn. “I was petrified of As Evelyn says, there was no the water.” time be bored when bread was Jim was successful in getbaked from scratch, laundry was ting a position at the Discovery done by hand, lessons had to be Island Lighthouse situated near prepared, children raised, and all the southeastern tip of Vancouthe other usual day-to-day family ver Island and about three miles demands seen to. Rather than an east of Oak Bay. This was when isolated existence, the Brutons Evelyn made her second deal; had the company of the other but this time it was with Jim. families who lived at lighthouse Evelyn Bruton raised all her children “on the lights,” She told him that she’d give it a stations, many visitors who came where she spent nearly 30 years. go for one year. to stay with them and, every year, Hugging her fear of water and her three little children close- took a long travelling vacation together. The tender was a welly to herself, the pregnant Evelyn set off in a 14’ wooden boat come visitor delivering mail, groceries and at times replenished to her new home. The family lived at Discovery for a couple of water tanks. Lennard Island Lightstation on the West Coast of Vancouver years where they fished, dug for clams, learned to live with the water, paddled around the shores near the boathouse and did Island near Tofino brought the family into a wilder environment. “It was a lot rougher than the other locations, but at least we a lot of pebble picking, finding many agates, which Jim later made into jewelry. Without television, the family read a lot, had an aluminum boat, [and then] an inflatable,” says Evelyn. “It was fantastic!” played board games and had many visitors. The Brutons couldn’t get off this station as easily, so mail “The children loved it,” beams Evelyn, “and I loved it!” For some time Evelyn was the only woman on the island and other necessities were delivered on practise runs from the and truly appreciated the regular visits from and to her mother- Lifeboat Station in Tofino. When the weather calmed, Evelyn in-law. Groceries were a weekly affair, and the responsibility and the children would head out looking for Japanese glass for the children’s educations fell to Evelyn. With Joe, 7, Linda, fishing floats; they found quite a few (pictured right). Sheringham Point Lighthouse on the south side of Vancouver 5, Elanie, 3, baby Sharon and the Correspondence School operated by the B.C. Government, Evelyn prepared lessons and Island overlooks Juan de Fuca Strait and is just west of Sooke. 32



2/19/2007 10:17:51 PM

A popular location, it meant a drop in income, but the family was pleased when they were posted there and stayed from 1968-1987, their longest posting. By now, the children were older, and Evelyn had to study long into the night to remain one step ahead of them in their schooling. Jim took over supper duties during the week and the children took turns on Sundays. “I even learned the new math,� she smiles. Eventually the children went off to school in Sooke. While some other keepers sent their children to board elsewhere, “we never, ever thought of not having them around,� says Evelyn. None of the children were behind in their schooling, but they were enriched by their life experiences. Today, “they are self-sufficient, independent, thought-

ful and helpful children,� she says. From 1958-1987, the Brutons lived on the lights. They rescued stranded mariners; progressed from wooden boats to inflatables; from catching water off their roof to well-filled tanks; from kerosene lights to electricity but, through it all, they remained a close and caring family. They always went on vacation together; they even joined Jim in Ottawa where he went on training courses. “As a woman, I didn’t miss anything,� says Evelyn. “I got a lot more from life.� Considering her four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, Evelyn sums it up by saying “appreciate your children, they grow up too fast and leave home, make the best of your life whatever it is.� SL




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HOME SUPPORT SERVICES DIRECTO OR A concise reference guide of services and products offered by businesses and organizations so Vancouver Island that make it easier for seniors to stay longer in their own homes.


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MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:18:17 PM


& The Artist’s Way

Courageous Outrageous


Photo: Frances Litman

ecently, I had the opportunity to sit down with four women, artists in their own way. We were sitting in the holding area between takes on a movie set. Four of us were background performers and one was our wrangler (great term). It was just after Oprah had highlighted five women between 50 and 70 who posed nude for a Dove commercial that was going to be shown in Times Square, New York. We all agreed the five women were indeed courageous and outrageous; and it was wonderful to see women and their bodies hon-


oured in this way. We also discussed our changing bodies, our ideas and our lifestyles as we age. Then we talked about taking risks, although the word “risk” never came up. What did come up was the need to reinvent ourselves and try new things. The artist’s way. Isn’t that what we all are – artists in our own way. Lou, our wrangler, calls herself a “junior senior” and is working on her “pretirement” as she is on the leading edge of the boomers. During the day, she is a mild-mannered government civil servant, and in her spare time she gets to hang out with would-be actors or, as we are known, “background.” Lou considers herself an Artist in Life. Sally, from Saltspring, is a fabric artist. This acting experience was her first foray into the world of film. She was there because her sister, who is involved in film in L.A., is a friend of the director and this was the only way for Sally to see them. For her, it was fun to reconnect.

Sue’s first film role was as a corpse. But dead she is not. She is, according to others, an “amazing potter” who has decided to reinvent herself again. She was there because she wanted to do something different. Now, she is deciding what new adventure she can try, and where she can try it. Betty is a landscape painter, among other things. A first timer, she came along because another friend was sick and Betty took her place. If you are a regular reader, you know my story. Five women, five diverse backgrounds, yet with much in common. All artists in their own inimitable way. All creating a life full of colour. All willing to take a chance, and given the opportunity, we wouldn’t mind appearing on Broadway either. SL

Pat Nichol is a speaker and published author. She makes her home in Victoria, but travels the world. She can be reached at



2/19/2007 10:18:36 PM



yshon Laura Le Photos:

erious illness has a way of sharpening people’s focus and altering their perspective. Seventy-six-year-old, Sister of Saint Ann Lucy Dumont took her focus to new heights when she was “given back the gift of life.” Hobbled by a muscular disease, Lucy barely managed to move about with a walker. With grit and determination, however, the sweetfaced, but indomitable Sister courageously worked out on a treadmill until she made her way to full mobility, step by step. Last year, at the Royal Victoria Marathon, she walked 21 km. In training, Lucy steeled herself to walk first a block, then two, before turning back home. She gradually expanded her walks, going farther and farther afield. Soon she headed out for lengthy walks. She admits that, at times, she went farther than intended and faced the challenge of an extralong homeward trek. When warm weather arrived, she left home before 8 a.m. as


brisk exertion later in the day left her sweaty and exhausted. But still she went. Lucy likes to use Nordic walking poles on her walks because she says they take some pressure off hip and knee joints, and “straightened her out.” She relinquished them for the Half-Marathon, however, fearful of tripping other participants.

Before the race, she solicited pledges to raise money for special mattresses needed at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. Helping others is a major facet of Sister Lucy’s character and the spunky senior raised $4,300 when she completed her 21 km walk with a time of three hours and 45 minutes. Inspired by Lucy, Mandy Parker, Executive Director of Mount St. Mary Foundation and a novice marathon competitor, decided to accompany her good friend. Lucy and Mandy kept an even pace together, enjoying the experience. Sister Lucy is not one to balk at a challenge. Early on, she felt drawn to become a nun, and right after high school graduation, followed her chosen path. She mentioned how the lives of Sisters have changed following the Second Vatican Council (“Vatican Two”) in l965. For Lucy, it was a good change.

FIT for the adventure

“We’re allowed to become the women we are rather than working out of the old structures,” she says. Lucy stresses her intention to live until she dies, to become “a juicy crone.” “And if I can help others along the way, that’s all to the good.” And help others she does. Before the marathon, she got sponsors and walked l0 km for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. While she may enjoy a chat over tea, Lucy’s no homebody. She prefers to lace up her good walking shoes for a fast trek on the Galloping Goose trail. And her heartfelt gratitude for her own health recovery has often been put into motion for the benefit of others. “For each person, it’s important to be who you are and do what you can. Things happen in life the important thing is what you do with them.” Lucy recounts once lamenting to a friend: “What I can do is only a little thing.” Replied her friend, “There is no such thing as ‘a little thing.’” “I’d never have attempted the Half Marathon, if it weren’t for Lucy,” exclaims Mandy Parker. A good example of how Lucy affects others and her influence for the greater good. SL MARCH 2007


2/19/2007 10:18:38 PM




he name “Vinarterta” evokes memories of the aroma of cookie dough baking, along with the smell of sweet prunes bubbling in a pot on the woodstove at Grandma’s house. Grandma would look at us, saying in her soft lilting voice, “Vinarterta always keeps so well and is wonderful to have when company comes.” Vinarterta (Vienna Tart) originated with Viennese bakers and became popular in Iceland. Icelanders in Canada turned it into a tradition, and it has often been used as a wedding cake by the younger generation. Usually baked in six thin layers, it’s spread with a rich, flavourful prune filling. Topped with butter icing and sprinkled with colourful rainbow decorations, it’s an attractive and mouth-watering layered creation.

Batter: 1 cup butter 1 cup sour cream 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 2 tsps baking soda 2 tsps baking powder 1 tsp almond extract dash of ground cardamom 6 cups flour (approximately) Cake: Cream butter, add eggs and sour cream. Sift dry ingredients and work into mixture. Add flavouring. Knead in flour. Roll into about 10 or 12 round or square layers as this recipe makes two six-layer cakes. Bake layers at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Cool and spread prune filling between layers. Prune filling: 2-3 cups prunes, cooked and puréed 2 cups sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla dash of ground cardamom Prune water Boil prunes in water until soft. To get the best moisture content when cooking prunes, barely cover them with water in the cooking pot. After prunes are stoned and puréed, heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly, cooking to spreading consistency. Add vanilla and cardamom flavouring. Ice, decorate and serve proudly. SL

Please send us YOUR favourite Heritage Recipe along with the memories it evokes. Without your contributions, Tasty Traditions doesn’t exist. Contact us at or 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria, BC V8T 2C1 38



2/19/2007 10:18:40 PM

Crossword PUZZLE Across 1. Arterial plaque deposit 11. Sweetheart 12. In bed 13. Menu 14. Married woman 16. Name 18. Globes 19. Ancient North Briton 20. Anti-knock fluid 21. Where events are held 22. Drinks slowly 26. Peak 27. Shout of greeting 31. Implement 32. Catch sight of 33. Move along in a stream 34. Ark builder 35. Laugh loudly 36. Select

Mind GAMES 37. Health resorts 40. Middle Eastern monarchy 42. Pains 43. Cozy 45. Makes brown 46. Subordinate ruler 47. Ribbons 52. Rhythmic swing 53. Bluish white metallic element 56. Penniless 57. Fifth month 58. A West Coast American Indian people 59. Car race 60. Soon 61. One’s own person 62. A European customs union

Down 2. Ski-tow bar

3. Aromatic plant 4. Consumes 5. Regret 6. Pertaining to circumstances 7. Charge per unit 8. Notice of death 9. Third son of Adam 10. Indolently 13. Seashore 14. Chop into small pieces 15. Precipitous 17. Arm joint 19. Seed of a legume 23. Grecian architectural style 24. Dog 25. Quench 28. Astir 29. South American ruminant 30. Navigation system 36. Trousers 38. Sacred song 39. Bad-tempered 41. Child cruelty prevention organisation 44. Pistol 48. Related by blood 49. Yearn deeply 50. Finishes 51. Eye infection 53. Sector 54. Image of a deity 55. Not upper class 58. Adult male


MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:18:42 PM



ears ago, a succulent steak, topped with a generous dollop of herbed butter, and served with a sour cream laden potato was not only absolutely delicious, it was the norm for a tasty meal. When the new low-fat way of cooking was introduced, the first few years were pretty awful. Boneless, skinless and mostly tasteless chicken, cooked every which way, had only one discernable flavour – whatever sauce one put on top. In 1990, when my husband Roy suffered a heart attack, followed by open-heart surgery, his low cholesterol diet became my focus. Dietary fats were the enemy, and war was declared. The evolution was difficult. While cookbooks burst at the seams with low-fat recipes, low fat seemed to mean low taste. I tried to change that, and have found many ways to keep the zip in our meals.






One such change, on the advice of my daughter, a chef, was to season every layer as I cook. After sautÊing vegetables, I give them a shake of salt and freshly ground pepper. Then I do the same with each layer. This method seems to lock in flavours better than adding it all at the end. Braising is another of my favourites. I used to think only slow cooking meats (tough cuts) were suitable for braising, but now I use it for chicken pieces or pork. The key is to simmer meat gently in a bit of liquid, as it tends to toughen if it’s rushed by high heat. Be sure the skillet has a tight-fitting lid, or is well wrapped with aluminum foil. This technique works equally well in the oven or on the stovetop. Rubs, too, are a big help in the quest to enhance flavour. The recipe that follows demonstrates one such rub, but you can make them up as you like, using your own favourite spices. Rubs are excellent on meats for the barbecue, too. One of the biggest hits in the taste department is the use of fresh herbs. They are easy to grow in a backyard garden, or are available year-round in the supermarket. They’re good in salads, marinades, with roasted vegetables or tied in a bundle and added to a pot of beef stew or soup. Reducing the sauce is also a very important step in producing a tasty meal. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, which intensifies flavour by evaporating and condensing the sauce over lively heat (even if dinner is a few minutes late!). The taste and appearance of the meal are worth the wait. In the summer, we routinely fill our freezer with local berries and cherries. These make welcome additions to our morning porridge and become dessert most nights. Roy has a serious sweet tooth; no meal is complete without dessert. I have no trouble finding a variety of cake, cookie or muffin recipes in the many low-fat cookbooks. Most of these things can be frozen and thawed as needed. The Internet also has many sites to go to for ideas. is great, as is or Food Network Canada Recipes. Like cookbooks, these sites are a wealth of information, and can keep me busy When the new low-fat way for hours at a time. Don’t be afraid to of cooking was introduced, try new recipes the first few years were – your spouse will

pretty awful.

2/19/2007 10:18:43 PM

forgive you for the odd flop! Let’s not forget the barbecue. It’s one of the best methods for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables, too, without excess fat. Nothing better than a piece of grilled chicken or steak on a bed of salad greens, especially if you’ve used a tasty rub or marinade first! If fish is not an important part of your current diet, try to eat it more often. Fish provides protein, niacin, vitamin B3, iron, selenium, zinc and essential fatty acids. Health experts recommend eating it twice a week. And remember, have fun in the kitchen! A nutritious diet and plenty of exercise are the best ways to a long and healthy life. Bon appétit!

vour. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining oil until very hot. Unwrap the tenderloin and sear to create a nicely browned exterior. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tenderloin in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and wrap to keep warm. Drain off any excess fat from the skillet and add the Dijon mustard

to the pan, whisking to incorporate any pan juices. Add the currants, chicken stock, thyme and maple syrup. Reduce over medium-high heat to a syrupy consistency. Taste, and adjust the seasonings. When the sauce has thickened, slice the pork and add the juices from the meat to the sauce. Serve drizzled with the sauce and scatter the currants as SL a garnish. Serves 4 to 6.

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH SPICE RUB AND CURRANTS Ingredients: 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander seed 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon Pinch cayenne pepper 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed 2 Tbsps olive oil, divided Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup currants 1 cup chicken stock 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves 2 tsp maple sugar

Method: Plump the currants by soaking them in 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar for one hour, or to speed the process, gently heat on low for five minutes and let cool. Combine the dry spices. Rub the tenderloin with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and coat with the spices. Wrap in plastic wrap. Leave at least 20 minutes for some flavour to develop, or prepare ahead and refrigerate for a more intense flaMARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:18:53 PM

Classifieds COLLECTOR SEEKING vintage/collectable cameras, binoculars and microscopes. Nikon, Leica, Contax, Rolleiflex, Zeiss, Canon, etc. Mike (250)383-6456 or e-mail: WWW.SENIORS101.CA Dedicated to Vancouver Island. For those of us that live here, and those of you who don’t. WWW.SENIORS101.CA HAIRSTYLIST has a private and comfortable studio in her Sidney home. Christine offers a full, professional service. Special senior rates. Please call 882-4247. HIRING SENIORS NOW. Part-time positions available. Provide companionship and assistance for other seniors. Call Susie. Home Instead Senior Care 382-6565. ANTIQUES - Excellent prices paid for fine porcelain, art pottery and early Canadian. art. Also assisting families with downsizing/resolving estates. Over 20 years experience. 380-5042. OLD MAGAZINES WANTED. 1900-1950. Cash paid. Most kinds wanted. Please call 743-8343 (Mill Bay). LOVING GRANNIES NEEDED - local Victoria babysitting service requires Mature women to go into families homes to care for their children. Grannies who love children, are creative and energetic are a perfect fit! We have on call, permanent and part-time jobs available. For more info call 516-5004.

THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU of Vancouver Island is located at 220 - 1175 Cook Street, Victoria BC V8V 4A1. Toll-free phone line for Up-Island 1-877-826-4222 (South Island dial 386-6348). E-mail: LOCAL LANDSCAPE Maintenance Company requires Mature part time staff for lawn, garden, and handyman positions. If you are personable, energetic, enjoy the outdoors, and love to work with your hands then this may be for you! For more information email MATURE WOMAN available for companionship, light housekeeping, walks, bus outings and some personal care. Also available for respite care, overnight, weekends & holidays. References & criminal record check. Call 655-1121. “HEY, THERE’S NO VIOLIN IN THIS CASE!� Written with love, warmth and humour by Victoria music teacher and mother of seven, Louise Holland. May be purchased at, or at 727-0796, or from Trafford Publishing. See Trafford. com for excerpts.

PERSONALS YOU, 58-66, kind, sincere, N/S, outdoor active lady. Parksville to Campbell River area. I, tall, fit, caring, healthy, senior male. Love music, dancing, more. (250)338-9022. MID-ISLAND WIDOW, 74, petite, slim, active, seeks single man, educated (university) & cultured, with interest in country living, nature, literature, world affairs, etc., for committed relationship. File 102 (c/o Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1).

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING $30 for 20 words or less. $1.25 per extra word. Plus 6% GST. Payable in advance. Ph. 479-4705. Deadline: 15th of the month. Make cheque payable to: Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave.,Victoria BC V8T 2C1

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2/19/2007 10:18:54 PM

News Brief


Bone Health

steoporosis and osteoarthritis are often confused because the terms are similar. These conditions, however, develop differently, have different symptoms and different methods of diagnosis. They may also require different ways of self-management and treatment. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones, which become porous and weak, increasing the risk of fractures. Nearly one-and-a-half million Canadians suffer from the disease, and the healthcare costs are $1.9 billion a year. Arthritis affects the joints, such as knees, wrists, hips and surrounding tissues. Four million Canadians are affected by arthritis, costing $4.4 billion a year. When individuals have both chronic conditions, they need to develop a plan to manage the diseases. Exercise, pain management, medications and ways to cope with daily activities may require some adjustment. Living with osteoporosis and arthritis presents many challenges. To learn more, register for the public forum, “Osteoporosis & Arthritis: Self-Management & Treatment,” with keynote speaker Dr. David Kendler. March 10, 1 to 4:30 pm, at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre. Cost: $10 per person. Call 475-7121 to register.

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2/19/2007 10:19:15 PM




‘Hull-abaloo’–celebrating a century. Featuring the combined art works of Eric Horsley and Paul Redchurch. Weekdays 9am–4pm. Goward House, 2495 Arbutus Rd. For more info, call Paul 592-0456 or Eric 592-0040.


Celebrating 98 years of unbroken activity, the Victoria Sketch Club will show the work of its members at Glen Lyon Norfolk School, 1701 Beach Drive, (Oak Bay). Admission free. Tues thru Sun, 10am to 7pm. For more info, call Victor Lotto 592-3585.


Presented by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Dracula is contemporary ballet at its atmospheric finest, complete with flying bats, dancing gargoyles and mysterious transformations. Fri, 8pm. Sat, 2pm & 8pm. The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St. For tickets, call 386-6121.


This groundbreaking one-woman show brings an exhilarating message of power and joy to the cancer community. Jonna Tamases, 3-time cancer survivor, has turned her experience into a funny, uplifting play. Wheelchair accessible. 7:30pm. Tickets $20. Proceeds to the BC Cancer Foundation of Vancouver Island. First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral at Quadra. For more info, call 598-9634.

To avoid disappointment, check ahead to make sure the event you want to attend is still happening. If you have an event listing seniors might like to know about, e-mail info to

Community Radio For Seniors Every Thursday 2-3pm CFUV Radio 101.9 FM or 104.3 Cable Mar 1 Stepping Out – The Teddy Bear Lady

Mar 8 Seniors’ Organizations – Embrace Aging Month

Mar 15 Health and Well-being – Striving for Wellness

Mar 22 Issues – Getting a Financial Check-up

Mar 29 Senior Living Character – Uldis Lepmanis 44




Sale and silent auction of arts and treasures! Proceeds to the Family Caregivers’ Network Society and the James Bay Community Project. DONATIONS of art and treasures gratefully accepted at 526 Michigan. Admission free. 10am–3pm. James Bay Community Project, 547 Michigan St. For more info, call 384-0408 (FCNS) or 388-7844 (JBCP).


Under the baton of conductor Norman Nelson, the Sooke Philharmonic will perform a “little night music,” featuring Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, followed by Benjamin Britten’s Nocturne, with soloist Martin Sadd. Next comes Dvorak’s Serenade, Op. 22 for Strings and Winds, Mozart’s Serenata Notturna, K.239, and the concert concludes with Boccherini’s Night Music of Madrid. Sat, 7:30pm at Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Rd. Sun, 2:30pm at the New St. Mary’s Church, 4125 Metchosin Rd. Tickets $18 seniors at Long & McQuade, Metchosin Country Store, Shoppers Drug Mart in Sooke, and at the door. For more info, call 642-2849.

BROADWAY SHOWCASE Mar 23, 24 & Apr 1

Presented by The Victoria Broadway Chorus and featuring a 70-voice chorus performing the music of Broadway and the Movies. Featured are co-musical directors soprano Sue Doman and pianist Bob LeBlanc with guest soloists Kathleen West, Dwayne Gordon, Timothy Kyle and Pam Miller. Fri, 7:30pm at Central Baptist Auditorium, 833 Pandora St. Sat, 2pm at The Charlie Theatre, 2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney. Sun, 2pm at The Cowichan Theatre, 2687 James St, Duncan. For more info, call 474-5525.


A nostalgic two-hour performance from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. The Monterey Noteables are a volunteer group of seniors who have been entertaining audiences for the past 10 years with their musical theatre presentations. Fri, 7:30pm. Sat, 2pm & 7pm. Sun, 2pm. Tickets $10. Monterey Centre, 1442 Monterey Avenue. For more info, call 370-7300.


Bring your own bag lunch to eat during the concert. Coffee and tea provided. Admission free. Mar 7–Sonata in A Major (C Franck) and Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso (C SaintSaens). Mar 14–Sonata for flute and piano (C Reinecke). Mar 21–String quartets by Haydn and Samuel Barber. Mar 28–Organ recital works by Bach, Durufle and Reger. Apr 4 - Stabat Mater (Pergolesi). Wed, 12:10-12:45pm. Church of St Mary the Virgin, 1701 Elgin Rd (off Oak Bay Ave). For more info, call 598-2212.


Offers the following free guided walks. Gentle Walk & Talk–Thurs, 9:30-11am. Enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, a friendly chat and gentle exercise through Saanich parks & trails. Suitable


for all walking abilities. Intermunicipal Discover Walks–Last Wed of the month, 9-11am. Discover the beautiful parks and byways of the Capital Regional District. 2-hr walks moderately paced and open to adults of all ages. Walks proceed rain or shine. Huff N Puff Hikes–Sun, 1-3:30pm. Open to adults of all ages. These hikes follow mainly chip trails and pavement but there may be some rough or steep sections. No registration required. Wear suitable footwear and bring adequate drinking water. Call 475-5408 for meeting locations.


Shirley McCuaig, Osteofit instructor extraordinaire is the guest speaker. $2 suggested dropin. 7pm at the James Bay New Horizons, 234 Menzies. For more info, call 721-0880.


A Public Forum. Keynote Speaker: Dr Dave Kendler, endocrinologist. Registration required. $10 per person, includes refreshments. 14:30pm. Cedar Hill Recreation Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. Call 475-7121 to register. For more info, call 721-0880.


Fresh flower designs for spring and summer including some bridal designs, presented by Rob Jennings from Jennings Florist. New members and visitors welcome. 7:30pm. Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Rd. For more info, call 6529334.


Victoria Writers’ Society will feature Dr. Lynne Van Luven addressing the business end of writing: marketing, copyright, and pubslishers’ terminology . Members and guests welcome. New Horizons Centre, 234 Menzies Street, 7:30 pm, March 7, 2007.


Byron Cook, the head gardener at Sooke Harbour House, will share how he grows and forages the wonderful array of tasty greens and flowers that appear on their salad plates throughout the seasons. Explore the many possibilities of composing your own organic salad with tips on growing and suggestions for unusual seed sources. 9am-11am. $15 plus GST. Abkhazi Garden, 1964 Fairfield Rd. For more info and to reserve your space, call 598-8096.


Join the UWC of Victoria and hear Briony Penn, prominent conservationist, naturalist, journalist, anthropologist, author and artist. 7:30pm. UVIC, Room 159, Murray and Anne Fraser (Law) Building. For more info http://web.uvic. ca/~canfeduw/




2/19/2007 10:19:23 PM



Our energy is limited. When we take on care for others, these reserves deplete quickly and nothing is left, then all we can rely on is adrenaline to get us through the crises. This exhausts our bodies. Come to this informative workshop and learn practical and concrete ways to increase your resiliency so that you too can feel cared for. 9:30am-12:30pm. $25 FCNS members, $30 non-members. Vancouver Island Lodge, 2202 Richmond Rd. For more info, call 384-0408 or


Presented by St Luke’s Players. Hilarity abounds in this entertaining portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the plaza. Wed thru Sat, 8pm. Matinee Sat, Mar 10 at 2pm. Tickets $10 seniors. Opening night 2 for 1. Available at the door, Ivy’s Book Shop and Petals Plus Florist. St Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd. For more info, call 686-1794.



woodcarver/sculptor. Seven 3-hour classes, cost $157.50 + GST. Sat, 10am–1pm. The course is designed for both beginners and intermediate carvers. For beginners, basic art skills are recommended and experience or aptitude in handling carpentry tools is required. Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial St, Nanaimo. For more info, call 250-754-1750.


Too funny to be serious musicians and too musical to be a straight sketch troupe, Chris Patterson, Trevor Strong and Mike McCormick are carving out a style all their own. This 3-man comedy troupe is on a mission to make you laugh extolling the virtues of the noble cow, taking Celine Dion down a notch and singing twisted lullabies to children. 7:30pm. Tickets $28 (members $24). The Port Theatre, 125 Front St, Nanaimo. For tickets, call 250-754-8550.


Presented by the Victoria Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Mar 17 & 18 at the Charlie White Theatre, 2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney. To order tickets 656-0275. Mar 31 at the McPherson Theatre, 3 Centennial Square. To order tickets 386-6121.

Images of Canadians making a difference–a professional photographic exhibit. Short presentation on the work of ACCES and the Cambodia Support Group. 7-9pm. Admission free. Light refreshments, handicrafts, CD available. Ladysmith Secondary School, 710-6th Ave, Ladysmith. For more info, call Shelagh 246-9102 or



IOLANTHE Mar 17, 18 & 24

Love makes a mad-dash around the world as four generations of women follow their hearts from Russia to France, England and rural Saskatchewan. It’s a hilarious comedy that will catapult you through the centuries. Wed to Sat, 8pm. Wed/Thurs/Sat, matinee 2pm. Chemainus Theatre Festival, 9737 Chemainus Rd, Chemainus. For tickets, call 1-800-565-7738.


An all-inclusive, no-audition choir singing for the sheer joy of it. Two 8-week night sessions Feb 7–Mar 28 and Apr 4–May 23. Wed, 7–9pm. Every voice is welcome. Errington Hall, 1390 Errrington Rd, Parksville. To register call 2481074.


With instructor Dick VanderEyk, professional

Everything to keep your pet happy, healthy and well behaved. Raw Foods & Supplements for Pets, Cooked Organic Foods, Energy Healing, Reiki for Pets, Herbalist, Natural Antibiotics, Natural Shampoos, Horse Healers, Biofeedback, Kinesiology, Holistic Dog Training, Cat Daycare and B&B, Parrot Refuge, Pet Accessories, Pet Magazine, etc. Admission free. Children’s playground. Please leave your pets at home. Lots of free parking. 11am-3pm. Cavalotti Hall, East Wellington Ave, green metal building. For more info, call 250-753-5246 or www.naturepark. com/pets/fair.htm

PICNIC Until Mar 10

An exhibit by Salt Spring Island painter, Patricia Murphy-Macdonald. The subtle yet discreet tensions depicted in her work offer the viewer the occasion to question and ponder consumer culture and its ability to manufacture the illusion of happiness through material wealth. Nanaimo


Art Gallery, 900 Fifth St, Building 330, Nanaimo. For more info, call 250-740-6350.


An intensive two-day workshop. Learn techniques for preparing surfaces, combining collage and painting, creating texture, using text, simple print making methods, image transferring, incorporating fabric, working with bees wax, attaching 3D elements, and more. 10am –4pm. Cost $165 includes materials. Denman Island Arts Centre, 1016 Northwest Road. Visitors can park at Buckley Bay; walk onto the ferry & up the hill to the Arts Centre. For more info, call 1-888-335-1221.


Presented by High Tide Entertainment. “Legend” is not a title John McDermott would readily embrace, but his accomplishments have become legendary. Part of John’s legend has always been his remarkable work ethic, releasing at least an album a year, and averaging more than 100 performances a year over the last decade. 7:30pm. All Seats $45.50. The Port Theatre, 125 Front St, Nanaimo. For more info, call 250-754-8550 or


A panel of three qualified jurors will view all work submitted and will select, on the basis of artistic merit, the work to be included in the exhibition. No professional artist or craftsperson is eligible. The exhibition is restricted to two-dimensional paintings, drawings, and prints other than photographic prints. 3-pieces maximum. Non-refundable entry fee–$5 per piece. Artwork must be delivered to TOSH 10am–noon on Mar 31, and must be picked up on Apr 16 before noon. The Old School House Arts Centre, 122 Fern Rd West, Qualicum Beach. For more info, call 250-752-6133 or


In October of 1991, CATS became the longest continuously touring show in American theatre history. CATS is still America’s most-loved family musical. Fri, 7:30pm and Sat, 2pm. All seats $74. The Port Theatre, 125 Front St, Nanaimo. For tickets, call 250-754-8550 or


• Rental suites available • Private care beds available 650 Berwick North, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2T8


Phone Number

250-752-2818 MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:19:25 PM




id Tafler’s life has been driven by his love for words for as long as he can remember. Throughout his wide and varied career, Sid, 59, has been a journalist with the Canadian Press Wire Service, written for daily and weekly newspapers, been a commentator with the CBC, a freelance writer, a teacher and an editor. One of the highlights of Sid’s career was his time as editor at the popular Vancouver Island publication Monday Magazine. “I really enjoyed my time at Monday Magazine,” says Sid “It’s great to be a freelancer, but if you’re working in a newsroom, you are all pursuing the same objective. We got to chase down stories we thought were important.” For Sid, inspiration comes from writing about the stories that he feels have significance. The ability to inform and enlighten people with his writing is what Sid considers one of the most important aspects of his chosen career. “I would say that my biggest achievement [as a writer] was the work I did on forestry and environmental issues in the ‘80s and ‘90s to help make people understand the concept of the importance of the environment,” says Sid. Another important facet of his career and a source of inspiration is his teach46

Photo: Barbara Pedrick

Great Aspirations

ing. Sharing his expertise at institutions such as the University of Victoria and Camosun College, Sid finds that even after all these years of writing, he still has something to learn. “I teach,” he smiles, “but I also learn because as I learn how to teach people, I am learning new skills.” While he enjoys acquiring skills, Sid finds writing provides him with a learning experience of a different kind. His pen and paper offer a window to discover the world around him. “[Being a writer] certainly gives you perspective. It helps you understand various elements of your world and the world around you. It helps me understand how things are connected, things that happened 20, 30 years ago and things that happen now.” Looking back to find connections through his writing led Sid to avenues he hadn’t planned to follow. What began as a non-fiction book examining the theme of humans as a tribal species soon turned into a memoir that gave Sid a new perspective on his own life. “I was very fascinated by the theme of us and them,” he says. “I wanted to tell the story, as I understood it, of the tribal nature of the human species – to the extreme of seeing everyone else as

Us and Them: A Memoir of Tribes and Tribulations By Sid Tafler Net B.C. Publishing Ltd. $23.95

an outsider. I was trying to see how my life fit that theme.” As Sid noticed the connections between his chosen theme and his own life, his non-fiction book turned into the personal and family memoir entitled Us and Them. The book, in its new form, took Sid four years and several attempts to complete. “I found it very difficult, to be honest. I had difficulty shaping the book and finding its structure,” he says. “There was even a time I kind of gave up.” What kept Sid going was the chance to deeply examine his religious, cultural and family roots. “There were people around me who had interesting lives that deserved to have their stories told,” he says. “I was inspired by the concept of being an ordinary person with great aspirations, there are millions of people out there like that, maybe even billions.” For Sid, the book was not only a way to tell his family’s story, but a way to communicate a message to his readers. “I wanted to show the futility and the backwardness of being intolerant with people because of their background and culture,” he says. “We’ve become



2/19/2007 10:19:31 PM


much more tolerant as a society. We’ve come a long, long way in a very short period of time – only a couple of generations. We have to take stock of this and not rest on our accomplishments. Each generation has to be taught, and we need to keep making progress.” Like any profession, the life of a writer has its challenges. Sid’s career allowed him to share important life lessons with his readers, while learning some of his own. “I think, as a writer, you have to try a lot. I think you have to be willing to fail and ready to try and try again.” While he may not always classify his work as fun, Sid certainly has no regrets about his chosen path in life. “I don’t know that I would recommend being a writer,” he smiles. “I think it’s a tough life. You go down certain paths, but I don’t know that I would have done it differently. There can be a lot of frustration and a lot of hours trying to get it right, but I think SL it beats work.”


What are you doing


LUNCH Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers and helpers to deliver meals to those who require our service. By giving as little as two hours a week you can make a difference. Bring along a friend and make a weekly date to do lunch! Orientation is provided. Please call 479-6955 for more info.


SENIOR LIVING READERSHIP CLUB FREE membership cards available to Senior Living readers who are at least 55 years of age. Members of the READERSHIP CLUB will enjoy: • Special value discounts or benefits from registered local businesses across Vancouver Island





____ ______ ______SIGNATURE R


• Automatic entry in monthly draws


To obtain your READERSHIP CLUB card, applicants must provide the following information - name, address, phone number, e-mail address (if available) and date of birth.


SENIOR LIVING READERSHIP CLUB APPLICATION FORM Information provided by applicants will be held confidential by Senior Living magazine. PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY

NAME __________________________________________________ ADDRESS ______________________________________________ POSTAL CODE ________________ PHONE __________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS _______________________________________ BIRTH DATE ______________________________________ (MUST BE 55 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER)

Mail Application Form to:

Senior Living Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 MARCH 2007



2/19/2007 10:19:35 PM

Just Rambling




’ve always been a handyman. I said those six words aloud as I wrote them – sending my wife into gales of hysterical laughter! I am aware that genius is rarely appreciated, so I will ignore her. As mentioned, I have always been a handyman. If anything in or around the house goes awry, I am there! I am handy. I can’t, as a rule, fix it, but even my wife has to admit I’m handy. Recently, an annoying squeak developed in our front door. And as always, I was on the alert and prepared. My tool belt was laid out in the shed, ready for immediate use. I strapped it on and did my inventory. Screwdriver, check. Hammer, check. Pipe wrench, check. Monkey wrench, check. Pistol, check. (That’s for pests like mice or rats or house guests who stay too long!) The flashlight was there, as was the level-pliers and a rolled up copy of Senior Living. I was loaded and ready for bear. What door could stand up against such preparedness? I felt like Wyatt Earp on the way to the O.K. Corral! When I arrived at my destination, however, my show-off wife had gone and put a drop of oil on the hinge, which of course, immediately cancelled my mission of “handiness,” and left me with an unfired tool belt. I left the tool belt on, though, and did a tour outside and around my house so my neighbours would know I was a handyman. After an hour or so, the tool belt felt heavy. And on close examination, I discovered it was bruising my hips. So, I took it back to the shed and laid 48

it out neatly in preparation for the next emergency. My wife’s reluctance to recognize my “handiness” irritates me at times. Our carpenter-builder, electrician and plumber not only recognize me as a handyman, they admire and praise my work. Every time I build something or join something or tighten something or take something apart, at least one of them, without fail, shows up to inspect my work! They shake their head in admiration and say: “Oh wow! This is unbelievable.” They stare at my work for two or three minutes, then they look at my wife with wide eyes and say: “Can you believe this? This is incredible! How can one man do all this?” But she won’t even take the word of a professional. And yet it’s always she who calls one of them and says: “Come and see what he’s done now!” (Talk about mixed signals). At any rate, I blush under their praise and definitely feel like part of their fraternity. A while ago, our little radio in the kitchen suddenly stopped working. But before I could reach my tool belt, my wife was out the door and half a block away clutching the little radio in her arm like a football. For a lady nearing 70, she sure can run fast! Out in our other shed – the one we call the cold shed because it’s unheated – there are all kinds of things waiting to be fixed: a lawn mower, a waffle iron, a 25-foot heavy-duty extension cord, a toaster, a broken chair and an eight-track player. There are many other things too. Only one problem – the

Photo: Krystle Wiseman


door is padlocked! My wife had the key because she was the one who installed the padlock, but she says she can’t remember where she put it. She says not to worry, though, she plans to look for it in a few months when she’s not so busy. She’s repeated that phrase for over a year and a half now. Oh well! There’s plenty around here that needs fixing in the meantime. My chair has sprung because it lost a spring. The refrigerator makes a funny sound and there’s that drip from the kitchen faucet. There’s the kitchen radio too, although my wife says she can’t remember where she put it – just like the key! Oh yeah! Lots to do for a handyman. Even as I write this, the light bulb in the living room lamp burned out. Well, I better put my tool belt on and change it. I wonder if my wife realizes how lucky she is to have me? SL Probably not.



2/19/2007 10:19:50 PM

March 2007 Senior Living Mag Island Edition  

50+ Active LIfestyle Magazine for Vancouver Island BC Canada

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