April 2012 Senior Living Magazine

Page 1


50+ Active Living Magazine

THE ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE • Glass Blower Robert Gary Parkes • North Island Hospitality • 7th Annual Senior Expo • Highs and Lows of Arizona And more... WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM www.seniorlivingmag.com

APRIL 2012


How to feel young again: Tip No 54 – knit, knit, purl. Get a (SOCIAL) life — experts agree that being social and active has many physical and emotional health benefits. Get your dose here.

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APRIL 2012


APRIL 2012

Be Your Best ������������� At Any Age




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Global recession forces lifetime employee to strike out on his own – and never look back.

10 A Great Yarn

41 BBB Scam Alert

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12 Re-Inventing Myself


6 Crystal Clear

Hobbyist turns passion into profitable business. Entrepreneur sells a sense of community.

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14 Island Hospitality

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Entrepreneurs share common traits.

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Active Port Hardy couple welcomes visitors.

18 The Risk Taker

Retired businessman ventures online.

20 How to Be a Success 22 Viva Las Vegas

Senior Living’s 7th Annual Senior Expo is a hit!

26 Art Comes to Life

28 The New Face of an Old Sport Fun and friendly Lake Hill Lawn Bowling Club.

30 The Rhythms of her Soul

Artist Becky McMahon paints what she loves.

40 Classifieds

4 The Family Caregiver by Barbara Small

38 Courageous & Outrageous by Pat Nichol

39 Ask Goldie

by Goldie Carlow

42 Forever Young by William Thomas

44 Reflections: Then & Now by Gipp Forster

Cover Photo: Glass blower and entrepreneur Robert Gary Parkes in The Loafing Shed Glass Studio in Surrey. Story on page 6. Photo: Philippe Martin-Morice

32 The Wendy Lady

Providing refuge for hundreds of colourful and curious birds.

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3/21/2012 9:48:57 PM

Senior Living is distributed at all BC Pharmasave locations.

Senior Living is published by Stratis Publishing. Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Reid editor@seniorlivingmag.com Ad Coordinator/Designer Steffany Gundling Advertising Manager Barry Risto 250-479-4705 ext 101 For advertising information, call 250-479-4705 sales@seniorlivingmag.com Ad Sales Staff Ann Lester 250-390-1805 Mathieu Powell 250-479-4705 ext 104 Barry Risto 250-479-4705 ext 101



Editorial Oct 2011.indd 1

36 Travel

Juan de Fuca 55 Plus Activity Centre opens its doors.

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Head Office Contact Information: Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 E-mail office@seniorlivingmag.com Website www.seniorlivingmag.com Subscriptions: $32 (includes GST, postage and handling) for 12 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 editor@seniorlivingmag. com Senior Living is distributed free throughout British Columbia. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living (12 issues per year). ISSN 17103584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)


APRIL 2012




Balancing Caregiving and Self-Employment


eing self-employed has unique challenges when it comes to work-life balance. Add to this the responsibilities of caring for an ill spouse, aging parent or other family member, and this juggling act can feel overwhelming. When you are self-employed, and especially if you work from your home, others often think you can simply come and go as you wish because you have no one else to report to. It is true that the flexibility of being self-employed may make caregiving easier for some. However, it can also make it more difficult because there may be no-one else to fill in for you, and time away from work can mean no income. Many self-employed people simply end up working longer hours to compensate for the time away. And unlike family caregivers who are employed elsewhere, there is no paid sick leave nor paid vacation time that can be used toward time off for caregiving. It is important to be proactive rather than reactive when balancing self-employment and caregiving. Establish clear and definite boundaries with family as to when you are working and not available for caregiving. Whenever possible, it helps to schedule caregiving in blocks at the beginning or end of the workday, so you can focus on one responsibility at a time. Some flexibility can be useful to permit you to respond to emergencies or during periods of intense caregiving demands. On the other hand, having a set work schedule can allow you to arrange for home support to cover for you. Decide in advance how you may best fit caregiving into your schedule.

Prioritize. Acknowledge upfront that you can’t do it all. Decide which items require your attention. Delegate where you can. Make a list of what you need help with and when – both at work and at home. With caregiving, decide what other family members can do and when outside services need to be hired. Self-employed Canadians who are registered for access to the Employment Insurance program can now apply for Compassionate Care Benefits (CCB) through EI. CCB are available if you are caring for a gravely ill relative at risk of dying within 26 weeks. These benefits consist of six weeks total compensation per terminally ill family member plus two weeks of unpaid waiting period. For more information visit the HRSDC website at www.hrsdc.gc.ca Familiarize yourself with community resources available to help you. Contact the Family Caregivers’ Network at 250-384-0408 or visit www.familycaregiversnetwork.org SL for resources in your area. Next month: Legal and financial considerations Barbara Small is the Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society located in Victoria, BC. www.familycaregiversnetwork.org

The Family Caregiver column is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of Saint Elizabeth




7/18/2011 5:28:20 PM


APRIL 2012


Crystal Entrepreneurs




Entrepreneur and artist Robert Gary Parkes.

Photo: Philippe Martin-Morice


lass blowing originated in Roman-controlled Syria more than 2,000 years ago and has changed little over the centuries. Robert Gary Parkes has been blowing glass for only about 25 of those years and the craftsmen of past years, who did not have the benefits of modern technology, have his admiration and reverence. “I hope that someday people will have more respect for the ancient guys,” he says. “The process really hasn’t changed since the iron-age, but now there are fibre optics and other modern materials that help the equipment to last and, by using computers to help with the timing, I know my piece will come out right, leaving me more time to work creatively.” Fifty-nine-year-old Robert runs his own glass blowing studio on a farm in the Port Kells area of Surrey, where he creates beautiful works of glass, trains an apprentice, gives demonstrations to senior groups and school children, runs a small gallery, and operates a small farm on the side. A radical lifestyle change for Robert, who, for the better part of 35 years, made the trek from the Fraser Valley to Vancouver and nearby for his various jobs, mostly in the Kitsilano area. He says with a laugh, “Now, my commute is 36 steps!” Robert had thought about operating his own studio many times over the years, but he did not choose this path, until fate forced his hand. Circumstances, in the form of the global recession, meant that in 2009 Robert suddenly found himself unemployed, and in need of providing for his family, which included four daughters.

“I was forced to change my entire lifestyle from one of commuting and working with many colleagues and knowing all about the local community to what I have now,” he says. “I


went through the depression, the anger, the doubt, all the normal things that people go through in such times. It was my strong relationship with my wife and the support of my family that got me through. I knew I was too young to go work as a greeter at Wal-Mart, so I had to decide what I was going to do. Glass had been my whole life, so the decision was an easy one.” When Robert was just 21, he started working with stained glass for the first time, getting a job at a shop in North Vancouver. Though he enjoyed being a stained glass artist, it was not the best paying job and, like so many other artists, Robert augmented his income by taking on many other jobs over the years. This would prove to be of great significance some years later and would lead directly to his opportunity to become an apprentice glass blower. By 1986, 12 years after Robert went to work for one of only three stained glass studios in Vancouver, there were now 23 such studios and the competition grew fierce. “It got so bad that you had to start putting in lowball bids just to get the contracts, so I started to think up other ideas of how to make a living with glass,” he says. “At this time, the only two people in Vancouver blowing glass were Stan Clarke, who ran the scientific glass program at UBC, and David New-Small who still has his shop on Granville Island. I tried to get on with him but he was not accepting apprentices.” At this point, Mark Lawrence, a potter and friend of Robert’s, called him to say a glass blower was opening a shop next door. Robert rushed over in time to hear the man fire his drywaller. “I told him that I could do that for him, so he hired me to help him set up his office and his place,” recalls Robert. “Over those two weeks, I showed him some of my work and he agreed to take me on as a federally funded apprentice through a program the government had going at the time.” That is how Robert got to apprentice under Robert Held, a former California professor who settled on the west coast after establishing the glass blowing program at Sheridan College near Toronto. After five years, Robert had his ticket, but he remained with the studio for nearly two more decades after that, learning and honing his craft. “Once you have your skills, it takes many years to master. Finally after I was there for 20 years, my master started calling me a glass master,” says Robert. “The frustration point is when you realize that you have to put more in than you are already putting in. The master makes it look easy, but it is not. The work can be dangerous. The glass is very hot and will do what it wants until you teach it to do what you want it to do. You have to learn to play with it, rather than have it playing with you. When you get to that point, you are ready to teach someone else.” While working as glass blower in Vancouver, Robert got to make pieces that were given to dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth and Gordon Campbell, but it was the studio that got the credit. While working out of his small studio in Surrey, called the Loafing Shed (where cattle used to go to rest), Robert was commissioned to make pieces of art to present to former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when they recently visited Surrey


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APRIL 2012


The artist and his creation.

“When we were younger, I used to watch her take the furniture out and pour paint on huge canvasses, and later I would watch her working with glass. She introduced me to the world of glass artists.” And now things have come full circle. Robert is enjoying life with his family and operating the studio with his wife, who quit her job to become The Loafing Shed’s business manager, and is training an apprentice of his own. He took some big risks, opening a brand new studio in the middle of a farming community during a recession, but it has paid off. “I am now free to make one of a kind items and it is great for my creativity,” says Robert. “I was very lucky since I have no formal arts education. I am just an old hippie who was attracted to the arts and crafts movement and, 40 years later, I am still at it. I had a few stories in the paper and that was nice, but I am more interested in seeing what is in the annealer every time I open it. That is my best reward, along with knowing that someone is going to appreciate what I have made, and SL that my piece will outlive me on this planet.” For more examples of Robert’s work, visit Senior Living online at www.seniorlivingmag.com/articles/glass-blower 10 8



Photo: Kevin McKay

to speak at an economic conference. Robert was told they wanted pieces representing the two countries as well as the colours of Surrey, so he went to work. “Mostly inspiration comes in a quick moment,” he says. “By the time we were finished talking, I knew what I was going to do. I brought the prototypes to the mayor’s office and put them on the coffee table. Everyone there just gasped and started bringing other people in. I knew right away I had got it right. I even got to attend the conference, rubbing elbows with all these big movers and shakers. It was very inspiring and, at the end, I got the limelight when they presented my pieces to the presidents.” Robert credits his mother’s best friend, a neighbouring artist and later glass worker named Terry Burnette for inspiring him to choose to work with glass.


APRIL 2012

9 11

A GREAT YARN Entrepreneurs



age and horses, where my two daughters grew up, I eventually wanted to move away. Cobble Hill now has many subdivisions and is more suburban than when I first moved there… I felt it wasn’t what I wanted.” It took a year for Jennie to realize her spark of creativity was still alive. She had always loved knitting and had knitted a Cowichan sweater as a first project when she was 20 – a huge undertaking, at the time, she recalls. “But I actually first started with embroidery, sewing my fancy stitches on everyone’s jeans. I also made a lot of my children’s clothes.” When Jennie decided she wanted to leave Cobble Hill, she knew she definitely wanted to stay on the Island and started exploring other areas. “I loved Vancouver Island,” she says, “and never wanted to move back to the Mainland or back to Alberta.” That was when she discovered Port Alberni. “If not living on acreage, a cute, little old house close to nature is the next best thing, and Port Alberni is full of them,” Jennie discovered, as she started looking at houses on MLS. She decided, first of all, to invest in upgrading her

Photo: Margaret Growcott

hen Jennie O’Connor moved to Port Alberni from Cobble Hill in 2010, she never dreamed her passion for knitting would become a full-time career and that she would soon open her own yarn shop. Born and raised in Calgary, Jennie moved to Kelowna in the early ’80s, where she had her first child, and then moved to Victoria in 1989, where her second daughter was born. Working for many years at Mill Bay’s Brentwood College as Special Projects Coordinator, Jennie found that when her daughters left home, she had had enough of the corporate world. She left the private school and, for a change of pace, worked for a while in a hardware store in Duncan and then a lumber yard in Victoria. “You have to be a tough girl to do that [job],” she says. “Most men think a lumber yard is no place for a woman.” She changed that perception. “It was a tough period, learning all about the industry on my own. I know lots of things about the building trade now.” “Although I had the ideal lifestyle in Cobble Hill with acre-

Entrepreneur and yarn shop owner Jennie O’Connor. 12 10



education by taking a course – medical terminology – with a view to working at Port Alberni’s new, state-of-the-art hospital. Upon completing the course, however, she found there were no openings in the medical transcription field. The thought of opening a knitting shop had been brewing at the back of her mind since the idea was planted by a friend. There was no yarn shop in Port Alberni, and Jennie found herself driving to Nanaimo to get her supplies, all the while the notion of her own business became more persistent. Jennie couldn’t ignore it any longer, and decided to take an entrepreneurship course through the Employment Insurance Centre. Afterwards, she continued on with a Business Planning Workshop, which included financial aspects, marketing procedures and strategies for small business. “This was intense and really hard work,” says Jennie, “but I was not deterred. At the age I am, I understand more of life’s basic lessons. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and to listen to myself. There were a few times when I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but I always went back to trusting myself and never really had any further worries.” Jennie credits Community Futures in developing her business plan. “I felt ready for anything after their help and training, but when I opened the shop, it was a one-woman job getting the space ready, finding suppliers and buying millions of little things.” Scoping a location was slightly daunting, but as soon as she saw the space that had been a bookstore on Argyle, Port Alberni’s main street, Jennie knew she had found the perfect place. She felt there was good energy left by the previous owner, plus a beautiful hardwood floor. “It didn’t need a lot of TLC,” she says. “All I had to do was add some colour to the walls, and lots of shelving to hold stock and display finished knitted garments.” The inviting space became the Let’s Knit! Shop, which opened its doors in May 2011. Inside is a haven of cheerfulness with vibrant, colourful walls and warm, inviting materials on display everywhere. The list of what can be made out of them is endless, from slippers, socks, scarves, shawls, mittens, bootees, to high-fashion sweaters. Regarding yarn, like most knitters, Jennie has her own particular favourites. “Alpaca and llama yarns are classed as hair, not wool, and are fabulous fibres. They are safe for allergy sufferers because they contain no lanolin, which is what causes allergies in wool. Another lovely fibre is cashmere, which comes from the underbelly of certain types of goats. There are also high quality man-made yarns, good for baby items as they can withstand numerous washings. Contrary to conventional knitting needles of metal and wood, used by knitters for many years, the favourite needles are now made of bamboo. “It’s easier on the hands and is especially good for arthritis sufferers,” says Jennie. “Bamboo is warmer to the touch and the yarn sits on the bamboo needles much better than on metal ones.” “I am having so much fun with my knitting shop,” says Jennie. “Knitters are creative, generous people with whom I feel an immediate bond. This is a fabulous time of my life – running my own business, which takes a lot of energy and is hard work, but also so much fun.” SL









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www.saanich.ca APRIL 2012

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Re-inventing Myself BY SUZANNE HERON

14 12


The author on an early morning photo shoot on Cordova Bay beach.

ted with holes, paper thin in places. One surveyor, appalled, admitted, “It looked so good, we didn’t scrape it.” So I sat by the side of the canal and cried. The British agent simply told us he was disinclined to honour his guarantee. We fixed the hull and sold the ship at a great loss. We had run out of boats, out of money, out of possibilities. And other than loving each other, we were ill equipped to cope. I am a child of privilege; to me, everything is possible. Dolf is a child of parents who lived through the war under occupation. To him, the world is a dangerous place, and his job is to keep us safe. So, he felt like a failure, and I was bitter. And since anyone remotely responsible had run away as rapidly as possible, we did the only logical thing and turned to and on each other in paroxysms of frustration. Feeling used and abused, stupid and ashamed, we came crawling back to this continent, where we eventually washed ashore on Lasqueti Island. There, a re-invention happened. To the inevitable question – How did you get here? – I told and re-told our story, and


Photo: Michel Joffre


was sitting beside a broad canal in the north of Holland on a bright spring day in 2007, bawling. I knew the dream I’d nurtured for 12 years was quietly disintegrating in the boatshed behind me, and I was raging against the idea of slinking back to Canada in failure. My husband Dolf and I had a particular dream, to wander the world by boat and end up in the Gulf Islands of B.C. We engaged a builder in Florida to make an ultra-modern catamaran, and winnowed our belongings to precisely 4.2 cubic metres. In 2004, we sold our house and bought a small piece of heaven on Lasqueti Island to come back to, with no road, no electricity, no building, just a cliff top overlooking a tidal lagoon and a bit of meadow. There followed four years of trying, really trying, to live our dream. Our boat builder’s yard was destroyed in a hurricane. He set our project aside in order to respond to a woman who said she was under God’s instruction to build a floating hair salon for downtown St. Petersburg. With no boat to move onto, we lived out of the trunk of our car, at the mercy of family and friends from Victoria to Maine. Along the way, we built a barn, put in gardens, tore out gardens, renovated kitchens and bathrooms, fundraised, tended stores and B&Bs. Eighteen months later, the builder said he was ready to finish our boat – but he wanted almost twice the price. Stunned, knowing we couldn’t afford it, we walked away. It took me 24 hours to figure out Plan B. “We could go barging around Europe,” I said, and Dolf thought a minute before replying, “That would be fun.” A British agent who specialized in Dutch barges helped us find a 20-ton, 100-year-old barge we could motor or sail on the thousands of miles of canals throughout Europe; I bought a book of charts. He guaranteed the sale, and Dolf was reassured by the great care that is taken with every business transaction in Holland. The hull is examined twice, by three surveyors; the sale goes through a notary; there is an extensive paper trail. We stayed with Dolf’s cousin, or on the barge, for nine months, renovating it to our needs. For the very last project, I lifted the floorboards – and found water. When the hull was sandblasted, the perfect hull the surveyors had assured us of was shown to be pit-

every single person said, “But that wasn’t your fault!” With by some Bermuda artists, full of little tidbits about the isrepetition comes reflection. I was looking for a world adven- land, lots of pictures spattered across the pages, and a deliture to confirm that I belong in the whole world, that there is cious recipe for each month. “Something like that would a chance that we can all get along. I thought it would be fun work around here,” he suggested. “Hmmm,” I said, and to sail to a community and volunteer there for a while. Dolf started talking to retailers. “Oh yes, please,” they all said, pointed out the many projects we’d undertaken for people. “and could you produce cards, too?” I was in business; Blue “We’ve actually been doing what you wanted,” he said. Heron Publishing was born. I thought I was doing something completely new for me. We didn’t get the adventure we planned. Instead, we reconnected with five or six of my second cousins and found Then I told my business coach at The Reger Group that our them to be kindred spirits. Dolf rediscovered his extended retail toy store back east attracted people moving from the family in Holland and found that in the bosom of his family, cities who wanted small town friendliness. We were really selling a sense of belonging to a community. “Isn’t that inhe is not an oddball. We biked and hiked in teresting,” she said, “that’s Holland, saw one daughter what you’re still selling.” settled in England and visThat comment was one I got to realize my dream of feeling end of the ball of yarn that I ited old friends there. What unravelled for some months. I got was the ongoing adlike a citizen of the world and develI realized that my mother venture of life: the opporoping meaningful relationships in was part of a very close-knit tunity to build connections group of cousins who shared with family and friends, to many places – but I had to become summer fun in Bridgewater, become part of communiopen to what life gives, rather than New Hampshire. We still ties that support us. I got to meet family there when realize my dream of feeling my fixed view, to realize it. we can. Whenever I meet like a citizen of the world any of my second cousins, and developing meaningful we are instantly united by relationships in many places shared stories of swimming – but I had to become open in Newfound Lake, climbing Peaked Hill, Uncle Jim teasto what life gives, rather than my fixed view, to realize it. Then, September 2008 happened. After losing so much ing Aunt Agnes. It gives me a deep sense of roots, a firm money in boats, we now looked at each other in horror and sense of belonging. said, “We have to go back to work!” But what to do? A I realized that a sense of place is imperative for my small, purposefully remote island isn’t a place for relative well-being – and that belonging, being part of a communewcomers to find steady work, so we made our way to nity, being proud of that community, is critical for all of our daughter’s basement in Victoria. There, despite what I us. It turns out that I am still satisfying my own need to considered a stellar résumé encompassing 30 years of com- belong; I’ve made some great new friends here. And I am munity development and 20 years in retail, the silence of the still building community by using the artwork in my caltelephone was deafening. Then, Dolf had an idea. endar to document and share local places that have special SL We’ve always loved the watercolour calendar produced meaning for people.


APRIL 2012

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Island Hospitality BY BARRY LOW


ort Hardy’s First Choice Bed and Breakfast is a home away from home for visitors to the north end of Vancouver Island. Owners Marty and Sharon Whitehead, long-time residents of Port Hardy, enjoy introducing their guests to the warm and welcoming hospitality of Vancouver Island’s northern-most community. “The idea for a bed and breakfast came to us in 2006,” says Marty. “I was in my second year of recovery from my stroke and started looking for employment but without any success. It was discouraging and depressing.” With experience in a house exchange and hosting visitors from abroad in their home, the couple fell in love with the idea of operating a Bed & Breakfast. Marty and Sharon contacted Bed & Breakfast Canada’s Regional Office beginning the process of approval and securing a business licence to begin operation in 2007. Next, renovations were in order to turn the downstairs of the couple’s home into suites. As with any renovation, there were frustrating moments, but Marty and Sharon never lost sight of their goal. “We needed floors and carpets put down but it was often difficult having workers undertake these jobs at scheduled times,” says Marty. “Sharon and her friend did the majority of the painting; I did doors, frames and baseboards with my one good arm.” “I was forever dropping things or tripping. Once, I lost my balance and fell over backwards, cutting my ear severely enough to require stitches.” Overall, the renovations went well, and the couple was on their way. “Our first guests were very nice,” says Marty. “We quickly realized what a wonderful experience this is.” Sharon adds, “We have guests from across Canada, the United States and Europe. There’s always an interest in each other’s culture, hobbies and hometowns.” However, having a smoothly operating B&B does have its scratchy side. 16 14


Photos: Tim Whitehead

Entrepreneurs Marty and Sharon Whitehead lead an active lifestyle in their northern Island community – on the water and in the air (on Sharon’s 60th birthday, below) – despite life’s setbacks.


“I remember the first cancellation we had,” says Sharon. “Marty and I waited up until after midnight. The guests never did show up or telephone. Occasionally, guests became lost and one of us would drive out, find them, and lead them to our B&B.” Marty says that, at first, he had trouble sleeping. “I did not want to upset guests by forgetting something I said I would do for them, or miss making sure they made their early ferry departures.”

Photo: Sharon Whitehead

Marty tending the garden.

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“I believe having gone into this venture has helped me cope with my disabilities, depression and down times,” says Marty. “It gave me a purpose on those days when I felt like, ‘Why bother continuing with life?’ – feeling I was only half of what I used to be.” Marty recalls a humorous incident on his bicycle when he went to the post office to collect his mail. He lost his balance and fell over onto the post office front lawn. Some people who knew him and his sense of humour ran over to him, picked up his bike and stood it up, leaving Marty lying on the grass. He also remembers riding his bicycle late one evening in stormy weather. “We had two guests arriving on the Prince Rupert ferry riding on a tandem bike,” says Marty. “I had lights on my

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bike and wore bright yellow raingear. It was quite a ferocious night with heavy rain and strong winds. I set out on the highway heading toward the ferry dock. My raingear got tangled in the bike chain and I went for a tumble into the highway ditch. As I lay there for a minute in the pitch black, no streetlights, pouring rain, I started thinking I might have bitten off more than I could handle. I got back up and continued riding to the dock. I was concerned about our tandemriding guests, wondering about their physical condition; would I be left behind or hold them up with my slower riding? My worrying was needless; we rode back to the B&B without incident.” Marty had the only tire shop in Port Hardy for 26 years. The Whiteheads also opened the First Choice Gym in 1998 in Port Hardy, the only facility of its kind in the community. Sharon teaching a yoga class.

Photo: Marty Whitehead

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In February 2004, with the busyness of the tire shop, building a new business, family commitments and the couple’s heavy involvement in community activities, Marty and Sharon felt they needed a holiday. As Sharon was driving the couple to Vancouver International Airport to board a plane to Hawaii, Marty began feeling dizzy. A tingling in the right side of his face continued into his right arm and down his right side. Sharon recognized the symptoms. Stroke! She took an exit off the highway and drove to St. Paul’s General Hospital. Twelve days later, a bed became available at Holy Family Hospital, a rehabilitation centre in South Vancouver. Marty had lost most of his motor skills on the right side of his body. For the next five months, Marty recovered in the rehab centre. He arrived back in Port Hardy in July and continued his WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

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Photo: Tim Whitehead


With 46 locations across BC, Connect Hearing’s Consultants and Customer Care Representatives continuously strive to offer customers the best service and products available to address their

reconnect with their families, friends and communities by providing hearing solutions that meet their personal needs. I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in my clients’ lives.”

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hearing loss. Senior Living (SL) recently met with Mae Hernandez (MH), an audiologist and area manager, to learn more about the services and products that Connect Hearing offers. As an audiologist, Mae assesses and provides intervention for hearing disorders. SL: “Mae why did you want to become an audiologist?” MH: “I initially wanted to be a speech language pathologist. After my first year in grad school at UBC, I realized that I enjoyed the audiology classes more than the speech. Technology fascinates me. Audiology is a one to one helping career that requires practical and creative problem solving abilities. I really enjoy the challenge of problem solving.” Connect Hearing offers its customers a full spectrum of hearing assessments, state of the art hearing aids and cutting edge technology. The hearing clinics provide the most complete range of testing and follow up care including hearing aid fitting, ongoing servicing, maintenance and cleaning. SL: “What do you like the best about being an Audiologist?” MH: “I love my job! I help clients

The company is often seen participating in community based events with partners like the Canadian Legion and Diabetes Association. MH: “At least once a month, I’m in the community educating clients about hearing and hearing solutions. You can find me and my team at your local pharmacies, legions, seniors’ centers and retirement residences etc. We also educate other health professionals about hearing.” Connect Hearing offers its customers a wide variety of hearing solutions that fit every lifestyle and budget. Members of the BCAA and the Canadian Legion are also eligible to receive special discounts on their hearing products. Connect Hearing is not just committed to finding and fitting you with the right hearing aid. They are also committed to ensuring you are completely satisfied and experiencing the improvements you expect, through SoundCare Assurance - a comprehensive aftercare program. Connect Hearing prides themselves on providing their customers with personalized service that extends far beyond the purchase of hearing aids.

The couple at Strathcona Park.

therapy. Sharon was the driving force in motivating Marty through his illness and his restoration back to health. While Marty built up his muscle system, his daughter ran the tire business. When he tried going back to work, he quickly realized he was unable to do what he had been doing prior to his stroke. Marty sold the tire business in June 2005. After successfully operating the First Choice gym from 1998 until 2011, Sharon sold it, and she and Marty both officially retired. Well, almost! “The satisfaction we receive from providing a service making someone’s holiday more enjoyable is fantastic,” says Marty. “No matter what, life is worth living, doing what we can, and SL keeping a positive attitude.”

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The Risk Taker

raham Shuttleworth was living comfortably on his pension and part-time accounting business, but strongly felt the need for a challenge. “I received an email describing home-based businesses, and began exploring the offered opportunities,” says Graham, 77. Becoming more intrigued with the world of online businesses, Graham dipped his toe in by starting to sell items on eBay. He continued exploring the venture’s viability, eventually connecting with Doba, a drop-shipping company. Drop shipping is a supply chain technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock. The customer orders are transferred to the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships merchandise directly to the customer. Various companies that provide services assisting people with the building of a web-store contacted Graham and, from there, grahamsdeals.com was born. Business and finances are not new to Graham. He dedicated 23 years to working for a chartered Canadian bank before moving to Nanaimo, his home for the past 20 years. There, he purchased an existing accounting firm and earned his certification as a Certified General Accountant. “There was certainly risk involved, but that was the exciting part,” says Graham. “With my accounting and banking background, I have always had to make decisions as a leader rather than a follower!” He adds, “I do like to stay involved in the industry and still provide some financial services to a few clients, particularly around this time of year – tax time.” An avid soccer player for 48 years and then field hockey player for another 20, Graham employed his strategic

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skills on the field. “I played goal in soccer, at first, moving up to centre forward. Playing soccer meant taking risks on the field as a striker. That’s how games are won. I have a competitive nature in anything I do, whether it’s on the field, playing chess or a game of cards.”


Photo: Karen Horner



Graham says he often “runs the line” for the referee when he goes to soccer games to watch his friend Trish’s granddaughter play. “I was in Ladysmith watching her game last year and they didn’t have a referee, so I stepped in to fill the breech.” He said there were no disapproving voices from the parents for any calls he made. “My own daughter and granddaughter both play soccer in Calgary. My daughter is 49 and is playing with a Calgary team raising money to go to Italy for the 2013 Master’s Tournament held there.” Graham also enjoys cooking, admitting his specialty is Coquilles St. Jacques. “I just love making that dish,” he says, “and I make a pretty mean omelette as well.” “I have been physically active all my life, which has helped me be more confident with anything I do,” he says. “Sometimes, I have failed achieving my goals, but I don’t give up easily

and this is why I want my e-business to be successful. I am grateful for all the support I have received from family and friends.”

business together, that he questioned himself over his new venture. “Oh, yes, there were times when I was close to maxing out my credit cards while I incurred initial business expenses,” he says. In addition to breaking even, “I have a competitive nature Graham would like to travel once in anything I do, whether it’s his business starts generating enough income. He speaks French on the field, playing chess and Spanish, and also enjoys bicyor a game of cards.” cle riding. In his free time, Graham is the – Entrepreneur Graham Shuttleworth president of the Nanaimo British Club, known for the popular variEstablishing the new enterprise keeps ety shows they produce in the region; Graham hard at it on a daily basis. “I and he is also on the board of directors spend three or four hours each day on for the Nanaimo District Independent my computer making pricing changes, Living Centre. investigating new products, resetting His personal philosophy for mainprofit margins, and making decisions on taining a cheerful, optimistic outlook which products might generate greater to life is: “Go with the flow.” sales over other goods.” “Many people are resistant to makHis biggest challenge is attracting ing decisions,” says Graham, “howeyes to his website. And there were ever, there’s always a risk of some sort SL times, when he first began putting his – even crossing a street.”

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How to Be a Success (or at least get the rent covered)



We were hardly a top-notch team as I was, at that time, n the 1980s, my husband and I started a small educational publishing business in Vancouver. We knew only a budding writer and also our sole, and very untalented nothing about publishing and little about the educa- illustrator; while my husband laid the books out in Word tion business. Still, we had one quality that seemed essential Perfect 4.2 and 5 – an almost unheard of feat. As we went into the schools to speak about Japan, where to the venture – enthusiasm. “Let’s publish a book,” we said to each other, and, we had recently lived, and Peru, where my husband had knowing nothing about how to do this, we set to with great just visited, we gradually built up a reputation as experts. Well, we knew a little more energy. Without knowing on the subjects than most it, we already had a few Grade 6 and 7 teachers, of the qualities people We started in complete ignorance, and certainly more than all recommend for successof their students. ful entrepreneurship – we but book publishing is not rocket There was no mateenjoyed the idea of trying science and soon we got the something new, and, as we rial available on Peru, so had rent to pay, we were my husband had travelled hang of the game. serious about setting out down and gathered some. on our journey. We also had one bright idea, (and starter entrepreWe also had, at that time, a market with little competition as we were filling a neurs only need one idea, so long as it is brilliant) and that gap in supply in the educational world in B.C., and that was was to buy all the books and pictures from the Peru Pavilion for interesting books on Japan and Peru for young readers. that had been on display during the 1986 Vancouver World Although we were not teachers, we quickly got to know our Exhibition. Our tiny apartment was jammed full with phocustomers’ needs by attending teachers’ conferences. tos of Inca gold and slide sets made up from the thousands

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of photos we had taken in Japan and Peru. Luckily, digital wasn’t in yet and so slides were still in demand, for slide shows were still the way to go, when it came to keeping a small group of students entranced. Our advantage over competitors was that we actually spoke to the students in the school libraries and school librarians were standing by ready to make immediate purchases (Do you remember the time when school librarians had budgets, or even when there were school librarians?). Any surplus after we had paid the rent and printing bills, we reinvested in producing more titles. We worked eight days a week and, often, if a book was to go to printer the next day, my husband worked all night. We started in complete ignorance, but book publishing is not rocket science and soon we got the hang of the game. It never occurred to us to go to Simon Fraser University and get a Master’s degree in publishing. We have always preferred learning as we go along. It never occurred to us that we would fail. We were exploring a new field and it was an unspoken understanding that we would survive until we were bored and decided to explore something else. I must admit we learned from our peers in the educational publishing field and owe a fair amount to their generous guidance. So there, from our modest story, you have set out for you the qualities you need, if not to become CEO in a major enterprise, to at least succeed in a modest home business: We enjoyed what we were doing; we were exploring a fresh field (for us) and taking it very seriously; we planned our books and school visits down to the last detail; we were economical in our personal lives and reinvested any surplus in the business. We found our market and gave a little extra with each order; we spent loads on business cards and letter-head stationary to give a professional look to our little venture; we were a team of two, each making up for what the other lacked; we had a definite advantage (there was little material available on Peru). We optimized our business space, using our tiny apartment as production area, storage of product and living space; we optimized our skills in that my husband had an extraordinary sense of space and form, which he utilized in laying out the books. I had a way with words that worked well for talking in the schools and getting facts onto a page; we worked hard, and we never gave up. And were we a success? Well yes, if you count success as developing your talents enough to take you into the next stage of life: my husband used his sense of form and layout to become a full-time photographer and sculptor; and I took my winning words (of which I’d used thousands in the production of the 20 books we had produced as fledgling publishers) and became a full-time poet and essayist. We never made it big, but we made it big enough. And isn’t that SL what most entrepreneurs aim for?

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Viva Las Vegas Senior Expo


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Visitors could spin the wheel to win prizes.

Photos: Vernice Shostal


or the seventh year, visitors to the Senior Expo at Pearkes Recreation Centre hit the jackpot on March 6th. Lively entertainment, fellowship, good food and over 120 displays from businesses, hobbies, tours, a variety of seniors’ services and charitable groups kept people busy for most of the day. Admission by donation gave every participant a package of information, tickets and a chance to enter their names in a Vancouver Getaway draw. While people made their way through the door, Fred Wortley, alias Flashback Freddy, set the tone with tunes from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s motivating people to move in time to the music. Emcee Pat Nichol in a glitzy Vegas outfit and purple highlighted hair, introduced Senior Living magazine Publisher Barbara Risto, who announced a new direction for Senior Living: combining Vancouver Island and Vancouver magazines into one BC-wide magazine, launching a new website, and an exciting new venture – a weekly television show that CHEK TV will air later this year. Attendees had an opportunity to view a sample of the half hour show. Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation Lori McLeod briefly welcomed participants and thanked the publishers of Senior Living for organizing the event each year. Going back to the glory days of Las Vegas with tunes from

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole and others who performed on the strip, Tom Watson and the Honeycrooners rekindled youthful memories. Several times during the day, visitors took advantage of the music and grabbed a partner to dance on the floor in front of the stage, or wherever space allowed.



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Following the Honeycrooners first act, Red Skelton, who enjoyed one of the longest-running TV productions in the ’50s and ’60s as well as performing in Las Vegas, came back through the antics of professional clown Al Greenwood. Al’s tribute performance, “Reflections of Red,” reminded the audience of days when good, clean comedy was entertainment fare for the whole family. From turning himself into a strip of frying bacon to Clem Kadiddlehopper attempting to advertise Guzzler’s Gin to the happy hobo, Freddie the Freeloader, the audience responded with light-hearted laughter. Back for another Senior Expo Day, The Victoria Ballroom Dance Society ended their performance with a demonstration of several dance styles and invited people to participate in a mini line-dancing workshop.

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Professional clown Al Greenwood.

Laughter Yoga instructor Gene Furbee’s infectious giggles had the audience smiling even before he introduced them to the concept of laughing your way to better health. Created by Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian physician, laughter sessions are designed to help people connect with their inner child and rediscover joy, spontaneity and creativity. Playing their red light/ green light game – driving when the light was green, laughing when the light turned red and walking like penguins, the audience responded energetically to Gene’s prompts. In addition to the music, Expo visitors enjoyed innovative, informative and colourful exhibits. North Island Wildlife Recovery and Education Centre from Errington, B.C. brought with


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APRIL 2012

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Laughter Yoga

them their most photographed owl, a patient and still bird that only convinced people he was real when he turned his head toward Rosemarie Davenport upon whose hand he was perched. Specializing in bears and raptors, the NIWR cares for ill, injured or orphaned wild animals and releases them back into the wild after recovery. “We’re looking to expand the people that know about us,” said Sally Soanes, a NIWR worker at their display. Rosemarie Davenport and an owl from the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.

The BC Senior Games were there “so seniors know there’s places they can do sports and participate, and if they’re not active now maybe they’ll come out and be active,” said Carolyn Vasilash, an organizer who was pleased that there were “a lot of people from up island.” Having received a favourable response from their display last year, Abkhazi Garden, part of the TLC Land Conservancy, came back for a second year. The conservancy is interested in people who want to learn about gardening, whether they like to garden, have their own gardens, or just like to look at gardens.


Ally Guevin and her husband, Dennis, who have a realty business found the Senior Expo a great place to represent a local independent company. “What a fun and energetic event,” said Ally. Several exhibits offered visitors a chance to spin a wheel for prizes. And, true to Las Vegas Style, with the help of the Great Canadian Casinos, Black Jack was also available.

While entertainment continued, Ambrosia café catered to hungry seniors when they took a break from visiting with old friends, keeping time to the music, or seeing what exhibitors had to offer. Visitors were impressed with the variety of the Expo. “All the information you find out about these different places is terrific,” said Mary, a Victoria resident who has attended every year since the Expo’s beginning. “I like to see what’s new and what’s old and what’s interesting,” said Victoria resident Adina Mooney, who has also attended since the first Senior Expo. A Saanichton patron who attended for the first time this year found the day “very interesting – lots of good information, lots of good people.” He plans to come back next year. The party came to a close in late afternoon when 200 volunteer tasters were given an opportunity to sample and vote for the best appetizer made by the chefs of four seniors’ residences: Legion Manor offered Lemon Cured Spring Salmon, Crab and Beet filled; The Wellesley presented Marinated BBQ Pork Sliders; Alexander Mackie served Mediterranean Havarti Melt; and Ross Place prepared Roasted Six Veg Bruschettas. Although most voters were reluctant to make a choice, Legion Manor Chef Ullrich Geissler-Tilly got the most support for his hors d’oeuvres. With an attendance of approximately 2,500, up slightly from last year, Senior Expo is an opportunity for both businesses and seniors to enjoy a lively, entertaining and rewarding day. SL

Dentures ������������������ Dentures are a way for people to replace missing teeth but, like teeth, dentures will not last forever. Your mouth is continuously changing. When you lose your teeth your jaw bone shrinks. This happens gradually over time and a lot of people adapt to these changes. But, as you get older, these changes occur faster. It is important to have regular checkups so that changes to your mouth can be monitored and measured. Waiting too long can result in prolonged use of ill-fitting dentures. This can lead, in turn, to increased bone loss which can make it harder to get fit for new dentures. Signs your dentures are not fitting properly and may need relining or replacing: • pain or continuous sore spots • slurred speech • clicking or whistling • slipping of your denture Also, when your teeth wear down you are not chewing properly, therefore not digesting food properly. With regular visits to your denturist they can observe these changes and recommend relines and new dentures as needed. On average people need relines every 2 to 3 years and new dentures every 5 to 7 years.

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Arts & Entertainment

Art Comes to Life



Volunteering at fundraising events is part of the fun of belonging to the Activity Centre, which has raised more than $800,000 to maintain and renovate existing amenities and to construct new facilities. On April 28, from 10-4 p.m. and April 29, 10-3 p.m., the Activity Centre will present the popular biennial Showcase of Arts and Sale 2012 fundraiser. Admission is by donation with all funds going toward supplies, equipment, improvements, and maintenance of the 28 26


Quilting & Fibre Arts class

Photo: Lil Dobson

volunteer-operated complex. The first Showcase of Arts and Sale was held in 1996, and every two years afterward. Ten artists and artisans participated that first year. By the mid2000s, 25 artists put his or her works on display. This year the Juan de Fuca 55 Plus Senior Citizen’s Activity Centre will be hosting approximately 150 artists and artisans; most of whom will show up to five pieces of artwork each, providing an extraordinary selection for viewing and purchase. Christine Henry, participating artisan and marketing volunteer, says this

Coordinator volunteer Vonnie Simpkins (pictured above) says there will be approximately 350 volunteers involved in the Showcase of Art this year performing duties as greeters, cashiers, floorwalkers, raffle ticket sellers, parking attendants, setup and tear-down crews for displays, and numerous other


Photo: Bill Calver

Making jewelery in Rocks and Silver class

year’s event will feature fine art works in acrylics, watercolours, Chinese brush, drawing genus, jewellery, fibre arts, quilting, ceramics, clay sculpture, wood carving, en plein air (with agreeable weather), and photography art. Christine says more than 200 works of art in different genres will be for sale to the public, adding that all of the works have been created by the talents of artists and artisans who are members of the Activity Centre.

Photos: Christine Henry

he Juan de Fuca 55 Plus Activity Centre is a nucleus of activity. From its early 1970 beginnings with 102 members (now at more than 1,000), this proactive membership enjoys a variety of pursuits that include bridge, bingo, carpet bowling, photography classes, painting, woodworking, and dozens more leisure interests. In fact, the Activity Centre features more than 60 classes and programs in art, education, entertainment, social pastimes and physical exercise.

Photography Class on a photo walk

Dorothy Donovan of the JDF Plein Air Painting group

tasks. Many volunteers work behind the scenes in planning, organizing, and implementing the Showcase. Vonnie says the Showcase has outgrown its previous showing space, and this year’s display is throughout the whole area of the Activity Centre, which is entirely wheelchair accessible. This year, as in the past, artists and artisans will be demonstrating the “how-to” of their crafts, often inviting adults and children to join in a session. These displays are well attended; children will sit for long periods fascinated as a painter develops a canvas, or a carver or sculptor brings wood and clay to life. The Palm Court dining area, staffed by Activity Centre volunteers, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Showcase visitors can take a relaxing break and contemplate where that beautiful original art piece will look the best in their home or office, while enjoying a refreshing beverage with an appetizing homemade lunch and a delicious dessert, all at reasonable prices. The Juan de Fuca 55 Plus Senior Citizen’s Activity Centre is located at 1767 Island Hwy. Building 3 (next to the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre). For more information, call the Activity Centre at 250-474-8618 or go online to www.jdfseniors.shawbiz.ca Cash and cheques for purchases will be accepted, but not debit or credit cards. SL Woodworking


APRIL 2012

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Fitness & Leisure

Friendly, Active and Fun Loving The new face of an old sport

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Linda. This means there is a great deal of flexibility about attendance and the mix of skill levels. “People don’t have to come on a specific day or as part of team.” For those looking for some competitiveness, there are tournaments throughout the year both within the club and against other clubs in the area. For the more serious, there are playoffs for the best men and women bowlers, and the Champion of Champions being the best of each club within the South Island area of clubs, both individuals and teams. For those top occasions, the white attire will often be seen. Lake Hill Lawn Bowling Club hosts two tournaments a year and, in turn, their members are invited to participate in other clubs’ tournaments. “Competition is not prime,” says Nick, “participation is.”


Kartar Dhillon has been a member for many years and bowls 4 or 5 times a week.

Photos: Enise Olding


ne member of the Lake Hill Lawn Bowling Club in Greater Victoria would have taken up lawn bowling years ago if the serious-faced, somewhat inhospitable white-clad bowlers next to his cricket pitch hadn’t been so uncooperative in returning the cricketers’ stray balls. But that was then and this is now. Lawn bowlers at Lake Hill Lawn Bowling Club are, by their own description, friendly, active and fun loving; and would doubtless get along well with any neighbouring cricketers, likely recruiting them as members of the bowling club in no time. President Nick Fenger says, “New members typically live close to the club and want to find something close to home.” Membership has grown from 83 to 118 in the last two years and, along with other lawn bowling clubs, Lake Hill anticipates that number will increase greatly in the next five to 10 years. Newcomers are invited to take six free lessons. “After about three [lessons], you know if you are able to do it physically,” says Club Coach Linda McClung. “Bending is required and upper body strength, but 95 per cent of the population can bowl, with curlers often making the best bowlers.” Linda took a course from Bowls British Columbia to become an accredited coach. Now, she and other club coaches offer once-a-week coaching sessions. Apart from structured lessons, coaching bowlers goes on all the time. Back in the 1920s, Lake Hill Community Centre members decided they would like to have a lawn bowling club and, from that moment on, there have been armies of volunteers working towards creating a pleasant and vibrant club. The efforts of many are recounted on the club’s website and on the walls of the club house. Member Haji Charania says there are 30 volunteer positions in the club along with committees that cover everything from maintenance to tea parties. He became a member four years ago. “I was looking for a place where I could get physical, social and recreational activities, so I came to one of the Open Houses and I think I enjoyed the people as much as the club; it had a good feel, with warm friendship and a whole year of activity,” says Haji. In summer, bowling takes place outside on the professionally manicured lawns; and in winter there is carpet and short mat bowling. “Some people just bowl in the winter,” says Nick. “They might bowl with another club or go away and find that they want to bowl during the winter, so they come here.” Being a friendly and less formal club, Nick says the focus is on a desire to bowl. Members can bowl seven days a week in summer; and the teams are created by random draws or pickups. “If you want to bowl, you don’t have to have a team, everyone gets a chance to bowl by way of an inclusive system,” says


For the rest of the time, it’s casual clothing of any colour, so long as participants have flat-soled shoes. The club has bowls (not balls) available for use by members and newcomers, but most bowlers prefer their own bowls, choosing those that fit their hand. At a weight of about 3lbs, the bowls come in different colours, and although each is round, there is a bias, so with a more weighted side the bowl rolls in a gentle curve. The goal is for players to roll (not throw) a bowl toward a smaller ball called a jack; the players who get closest to the jack earn points and the players with the most points win. Treasurer Betty Storey has been a member for four years and she was introduced to the club by a work colleague. She’d been a curler and soon took to lawn bowling. Convincing her golfing husband, Ralph, took longer. “I kept encouraging him, and finally I got him a membership for his birthday; it is something we can do together,” she says. And now, voicing the comments of many of the members, he says he wishes he’d participated earlier. Having played a lot of sports, including baseball and soccer, Ralph confirms the coaching at the club is a great program. Like many retirees, Past President Stew Edmonson thought he’d better find something to do and talked to someone who told him to join a bowling club. “I chose this one,” he laughs, “and I made the right decision as there is always something to do here.” Club President Nick Fenger and his wife Jean with the trophy they received for the A Event Short Mat Bonspiel.

Dependable Cleaning from Professionals you Trust! For those who aren’t into bowling, the club offers a variety of social activities with fun theme nights, like Hawaiian, Mexican or Valentine’s Day. Eight or 10 dinners are planned each year, and sometimes there’s a band. Card and board games are ongoing. For special events, like Canada Day, the games go on with players dressed in red and white. Players stop in the middle of their games to have tea and cake, then continue in a leisurely way. With summer waiting in the wings, Lake Hill Lawn Bowling Club is having an Open House on April 21 at 1:30 p.m. at 3930 LaSalle Street, Victoria. Anyone interested in trying their hand at bowling is invited to come along. SL For more information, visit www.lakehilllawnbowlingclub.com or call 250-477-7635 or 250-479-8072

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APRIL 2012

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Artist Profile

The Rhythms of Her Soul BY BEV YAWORSKI

Artist Becky McMahon instructs an art class at Vancouver area senior centre.

mainly in ink and watercolour on mulberry paper, some of her recent painting subjects have included lilies, bamboo, cherry blossoms, tigers, sunflowers and mountain scenes. Transforming her images into art cards onto quality watercolour paper is another aspect of her talents.

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Photo: Bev Yaworski


ith a unique combination of artistic talents, Becky McMahon is both a visual artist and a musician. “I find I paint or play my harp best when I can let my fingers or paint brush dance to the rhythms of my soul. That is when I reach the heart of what I’m doing.” Accomplished on the Celtic harp, Becky has entertained thousands at weddings, garden parties, benefit concerts and personal performances throughout the B.C. Lower Mainland. She has also given harp lessons. Over the years, Becky has enjoyed casually busking on a sidewalk as much as putting on a lively St. Patrick’s Day concert because she is “reaching people with her music.” With 35 strings and a mellow sound with good volume, Becky’s performance harp is a cherry wood harp created by her husband. Her formal musical training included lessons from Iain Phillips, Associate Professor of Early Music at the Ottawa Carleton University. More recently, painting has grabbed Becky’s attention. “I paint what I love, which is nature and the small moments I enjoy seeing. I’ve spent a lifetime being a careful observer of the natural world and I delight in catching a glimpse of the hidden side of life,” she says. “While I love the grand vistas and the glory of the hills, I’m drawn to the smaller creations – local birds and animals, flowers, plants and trees are all a part of my life and heart. I’ll never run out of things to paint.” Becky studied Chinese Brush Painting, and has since gone on to develop and teach an artistic fusion of eastern, western, Chinese and Japanese styles of brush painting. Working

Becky’s work has been recognized through awards and exhibitions at locations including the Burnaby Deer Lake Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, White Rock Community Gallery and Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Becky was also asked to be Visual Artist in Residence at the Surrey Newton Cultural Centre. In 2010, two of her paintings – Evening Prayer and Stop the Wind – were accepted in the juried International Haiku Inspirations Show, hosted by the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Becky also teaches painting at various Metro Vancouver seniors’ centres. “It’s a wonderful experience because these students seem to be more willing to fail; and, in art, you’re not likely to be a success unless you’re willing to take a risk,” she says. “In these classes, it’s so much fun because we all learn from each other. Both fun and exhausting, when someone has their “A-HA” moment, it is worth every minute I do it.” Becky patiently reworks her paintings without worrying too much about the outcome. She admits those who are linear and detail-oriented might get frustrated with her style of painting because they can’t relax enough to let things flow. Hummingbird by Becky McMahon.

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“I find my style of painting both a challenge and a joy. The need for freedom with control is one that suits me. I like to work fast and concentrate on getting the spirit of every subject I paint.” Becky’s love of Asian-influenced painting and culture is inexplicable. “As of yet, I have not travelled to China or Japan, though it is on my to-do list,” she says. “I was in an Air Force family, so we travelled across Canada; we spent four years in Germany and I travelled around Europe while we were there. I have, in the past, taken Tai Kwon Do, and I find the Eastern philosophy very attractive.” Becky currently offers art cards and matted prints for sale online and at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Gift Shop. “I consider it an honour to have my work there at the only tradiSL tional Chinese garden in North America.”

The north shore offers stunning views of the mountains, the city skyline, cruise ships as they enter and leave our harbour, and spectacular sunsets. All of this and so much more is yours to enjoy from your own two bedroom/two bathroom suite at The Summerhill Retirement Residence in the heart of your favourite neighbourhood. Come by and see for yourself. Call us for a personal tour. The Summerhill Retirement Residence 135 West 15th Street (off Lonsdale) North Vancouver | 604.980.6525 Part of Pacific Arbour Retirement Communities

For more information about Becky McMahon’s art, visit TriskelTreeCreations.com

Where good things come together


APRIL 2012

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Our Community



Photo: Matt Whelan

pitch. As soon as she stops, the same note drifts effortlessly back atch your belongings!” Before Wendy Huntbatch can explain, a from the bill of a double yellow-headed Amazon parrot. “One of her lives was spent with an opera singer,” she explains. bright green macaw swoops down from the Another bird, a blue and gold macaw, lived for 22 years with a reams of driftwood strung from the ceiling, grabs her bright red hair in its claws and begins to tear it from her scalp. Wendy runs the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, home to hundreds of the colourful Wendy Huntbatch comes eye to eye with – and perhaps overly curious – birds. a Moluccan cockatoo, “They’ll take anything they can, even my just one of the hundreds hair, if I’m not careful.” of rescued birds at the Several staff members come quickly to World Parrot Refuge. Wendy’s rescue with broomsticks and frightening screeches of their own. Seconds later, the birds have been shooed, Wendy’s hair is back in place, and so is her composure. “It’s not mine, you see,” she says. “The chemo, it kills everything. Everything. Look, I’ve got no eyebrows.” Wendy is under treatment for stage-four cancer. Such a prognosis pretty much means death, she says, casually. Wendy, however, doesn’t plan on going anywhere. “What would God want with an old lady with 800 children? Besides, I’m the Wendy Lady. We live forever.” She refers, of course, to the immortal character from Peter Pan with whom she shares her name. Wendy may not live forever, but she has lived long enough to found and successfully run one of North America’s largest refuges for unwanted pet birds. And on a continent where anyone can walk into their local pet store and purchase a parrot or cockatoo that might well outlive them by decades, with no certification or licensing requirement, the un- Chinese couple. “She speaks Mandarin,” says Wendy. “I don’t.” Another bird was the previous possession of a restaurant owner wanted are many. More than 800 of them now live here. Wendy leads a tour around the 24,000 square feet of corridors in the Yukon who taught it how to swear. When he couldn’t stop the and flights (huge cages that allow the birds room to fly) that make bird’s foul-beaked outbursts – which began to put customers off their up the shelter as she does her rounds — talking to staff, clipping meals – it was left to live outside in a cage in the freezing weather. claws and dealing with conflicts between birds, which break out Wendy smiles as she describes how some people stole her and with alarming regularity. The noise of the shrill, grating screeches brought her to the refuge. of hundreds of wild birds in a closed room is truly staggering. Most The personalities of these birds, their intelligence, their comof the people visiting today are wearing earplugs. plexity and depth of character quickly become apparent. So why She pauses during a quieter moment and begins to sing at a high have so many been spurned? 34 32



“Most people just don’t realise the responsibility and work involved. They become overwhelmed by the noise and the dust; a lot of people get asthma.” So, what inspired Wendy to create this refuge? “I’ve been in animal welfare my entire life,” she says. “I can remember my first rescue, clear as a bell.” Wendy was three years old — she swears — when a truck carrying some cows and calves passed her home near Wolverhampton, England. She asked her mother where they were going, to which her mother replied: “to the butcher’s.” “Not in my lifetime they’re not,” she recalls thinking. “So, I set them loose, 20 cows and all their babies went running all over the town.” At this early memory, she begins to laugh, but the laughs turn quickly into coughs. Wendy has what’s known as keeper’s lung, a condition common among those who live with birds and one exacerbated by the necessary poisons of chemotherapy. Another story involves a slightly older Wendy, on a farm, also in England. At least she thought it was a farm. It was actually a livestock auction, and she describes watching a man putting rings through the ears of all the pigs that were to be sold, clearly causing them pain. She asked politely if he would “please, stop doing that.” The man laughed at her. She asked again, would he “please, stop doing that.” He laughed again. “So I started kicking him in the shins,” she says, laughing again, coughing again. “I made him bleed.” Then, in 1993, four of her own birds were stolen from her home in Abbotsford. Wendy launched a widespread poster and radio campaign that garnered the return of only one of her own birds, but also offers of many others. “People started calling. They didn’t have my birds, but they had birds that needed better homes. So, of course I took them.” A warehouse was constructed to house the growing number of orphaned animals that came her way and as more and more birds were taken in, more and more buildings were built to house them. Her growing operation led her to purchase the property in Coombs upon which the current refuge now stands, and where still the birds keep coming. Fifteen macaws were taken in during January alone. The work is not without its rewards and recognition. Up to 30 volunteers complement the 15 full-time employees, and last year the refuge won an international award for compassion. As the tour comes to a close, she picks up another bird, a peachy-white moluccan cockatoo that recently recovered from bone cancer. “We were diagnosed at the same time, weren’t we, Iago?” she asks as she looks lovingly into its pearl black eyes. “And look at you now, you got better, didn’t you?” SL Here’s hoping the Wendy Lady does too.

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wellesleyvictoria.com APRIL 2012

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Travel & Adventure

The Highs and Lows of Northern Arizona



Photos: Brent Cassie

The author’s husband Brent reaches for the sky from one of Sedona’s perches.

ou know the saying, what goes up must come down? When hiking Bright Angel Trail in Arizona’s Grand Canyon, it’s a good one to follow – except in reverse. The popular pathway zigzags 1,355 metres (4,446 feet) downward and spans over 12 km (7.7 miles), from the top of this world-renowned chasm to the Colorado River. Although getting there may seem like a walk in the park, the uphill trek can be a killer. Literally! Warnings at the trailhead aren’t just scare tactics. Know your limits and pace yourself. Around 250 people are rescued from the canyon every year. “We don’t have to keep going,” I say to my husband, Brent, apprehensively, after reading about the New York marathoner who died en route due to dehydration. “We can 36 34


stay on this Rim Trail for a total of 13 miles and hardly work up a sweat.” The flat paved walkway beyond traces the top of this natural wonder from the village area to Hermits Rest and offers expansive panoramas all along the way. “There are a couple of museums to check out and we can listen to an interpretive talk at the outdoor amphitheatre. Even Kalli can get in on the action.” All hikes in the National Park, apart from this one, are off limits to our canine companion. Today, as we plan to venture downward, she enjoys doggy daycare at the nearby canyon kennels. “C’mon,” Brent coaxes. “After all the recent hiking we’ve done we can surely get to the first rest stop and back.” Although I’m not totally confident my boomer-aged quads will pass this three-mile trek test, he’s probably right.


We had started out this hiking holiday with a bang – Humphreys Peak – the highest summit in the state. Who would think that Arizona, the place of flat arid deserts and famous canyons would be home to the world’s largest stand of Ponderosa Pine and a mountain that rises more than 12,000 feet? This crowning jewel, a short drive from Flagstaff, rises majestically out of Coconino National Forest in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness area. To no surprise, it’s been coined Arizona’s little Colorado. Aspen Loop and Kachina are two lower level routes for the less hearty and though either would have warmed up my under-used hiking legs, we had decided to go for the gusto. “We’ll take it slow,” Brent had promised when traversing Snowbowl. As well as luring us hikers and bikers, when winter arrives, this recreation hub becomes a magnet for powder hounds. Thirty two ski trails, five lifts and an average of 20 feet of the white stuff – are you sure we’re in Arizona, Toto?!

Jane, Brent and Kalli reach the Saddle of Humphreys Peak.

The further up this pathway we plod, the harder it is to believe. Beyond the dry golden grasses and distant backdrop of Flagstaff, our terrain takes on a drastic change. Age-old spruce, stately fir and prickly ponderosa flank the way. I am just about convinced we’ve done a Dorothy move, clicked our heels and been transported back to our west coast homeland when our route becomes cloaked in snow. Tricky traverses, sketchy hairpins and 3,000 vertical feet later, we finish this jaunt at the saddle, Arizona’s only alpine tundra region that offers a wide-pan vista. Another hour of uphill and we would have seen more: The White Mountains to the east, Desert Mountains to the south, and this amazing Grand Canyon to the north. But once again, we are challenged by the return. After all, “what goes up must come down.” Two hours after making our slippery descent to civilization we exchange Flagstaff’s snowy summit for Sedona’s



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sun-drenched hills. The red rock monoliths hug up to this popular tourist haunt, located in the southern edge of Arizona’s Mogollion Rim, many of which are coined after their amazing formation; Snoopy Rock, Coffee Pot Rock, Slide Rock. Over the next few days while traipsing these trails, we can attest – they all rock! It’s believed that many of these land forms are surrounded by vortexes, or healing fields, that emanate a spiritual energy. Airport Mesa was just one of the perches where we experienced a little ying and yang. A short and easy-to-navigate trail leads to this tabletop plateau and from its enlightened height we were also treated to a sensational evening sky.

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The author stops for a Namaste chant while hiking Grand Canyon.

Bell Rock is another Sedona knoll that offers an awesome sunset. This well-coined, dome-shaped landmark rises skyward just beyond Oak Creek Village. Although there’s no clearly defined trail, the most accessible route is marked by cage-like cairns. I felt a bit like Spider Woman when clamoring up its slick weatherworn surface and prayed the soles of my sneakers would dub as suction cups. Needless to say, as my agile husband hiked higher, I was content to chant my Namaste greeting to the gods from a midpoint landing. I find myself doing a similar plea from this Grand Canyon trailhead today. Yet, in spite of the warnings, every man, woman and child seems to be passing us by – teenage girls in flip flops, kids with short, short legs, seniors who are carrying canes. Like a human chain, people of all sizes, ages and ability fall in line, as if spellbound to see more. But we soon realize, not all continue. After a couple of traverses, and glimpsing into this yawning abyss, many turn back. Not us. Joining the intrepid, we plod on. Our narrow trail twists and turns like a downward pretzel: through sandstone tunnels, past steep cliff drop offs, alongside craggy rock faces. And at every precipitous curve and heart-thumping overhang, we’re privy to a collage of colour – vibrant reds, bursts of ochre, deep sea greens. Mother Nature has put every hue into this wondrous work of art. Our cameras 38 36



go non-stop, but no matter what angle we take the shot from, or what scene is in the lens, it’s impossible to capture. Over three or so days, true trekkers backpack a grueling 38 km (23.8 miles) more to the North Rim. Others are bound for Plateau Point where they’ll do an overnighter. We, on the other hand, are proud enough to get to the first rest stop. And at this 2.4 km (1.5 mile) mark, we’re able to drink in the canyon’s natural beauty, feel its two billion year old history, soak in the magical serenity and still make the SL uphill journey back home.

Slip sliding along the snowy trail of Humphreys Peak.

Where to stay: Lodging and RV camps in South Rim of Grand Canyon: www.grandcanyonlodges.com/Lodging-Overview-411.html or call 1-303-297-2757 There are 2 campgrounds for non-hook-ups. Reservations for Mather Campground: 1-877-444-6777 or www.recreation.gov Desert View Campground (41 km/ 25 miles to the east) is firstcome, first-served. Flagstaff: For a range of accommodation: www.flagstaff.com/lodging and lots of RV parks are within the city limits. For freebie camping, try Hart’s Prairie area, just past Snowbowl Road. Sedona: There are lots of accommodations to choose from. Our favourite is the Matterhorn Inn – centrally located, great views, nice pool. www.matterhorninn.com For RV hook-ups, camping, cabins – Lo Lo Mai Springs lolomai.com

We invite you to join us in the beautiful Juniper Mountains of northwest Arizona. We are surrounded by working cattle ranches, pinion pines, close to ancient Native American ceremonial sites and Route 66. Experience nature and American history at Tumbling Rock Ranch.

Ideal for romantic getaways, family reunions, or as a corporate retreat. More pictures and info at www.seniorlivingmag.com/tumbling-rock

info@tumblingrockranch.com | (928)853-5770 tumblingrockranch.com | vrbo.com/379349


APRIL 2012

39 37

COURAGEOUS and OUTRAGEOUS Photo: Frances Litman



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40 38


Ages and Stages

or the past 22 years, I have been having breakfast twice a month with a group of wise and wonderful women. All of us are “women of a certain age”; some more certain than others. We have helped each other with new business ideas, raised each other’s children (lots of advice) and generally supported each other through various life situations. Recently, we had a discussion about being a senior. We concluded that whether you are 50 or 90, you are labelled a senior. We decided we need some definition or title that matches later ages and stages of life. We humans move from infant to toddler to school age to teenager to young adult. Then we move to adult, middle age, and then we hit senior, and there is no further definition. Just senior. So, I went to the best place to get the final word on an informal social query – Facebook! I posted a request on my Facebook page to find out what the consensus is and what people want to be called. The responses came from people in their early 50s to mid-70s. However, we were not able to come to a definitive agreement.

One of the best answers came from 53-year-old Stephanie. She said legally she is considered middle aged, so could she be a “tweenior”? Laurie recently celebrated her 63rd birthday, and uses rhyme for each age: “I’m 62 with lots to do.” Gwen knows what she doesn’t want to be called – Ma’am. While we were not able to come to any conclusion about title for stages, there were some wise statements. Linda felt that between 55 and 65, super neurons develop enabling the mastery of things we have practiced all our lives. So, Linda, does that make us Neuron Masters? Another friend suggested now is the time to truly enjoy ourselves. We are elders – been there, done that, and have the facial lines to prove it. So, gentle readers, I now turn the discussion to you. What do you think is a fitting title for the marvelous age you are? I await your answers. I would love to get a discussion going on this one. Let’s see SL where it will take us. Pat Nichol is a speaker and published author. Reach her at pat@patnichol.com or visit www. patnichol.com


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Dear Goldie: I want to improve my life. I am a widower in my eighties, in good health and physically active. I exercise and walk daily and belong to three social groups. I still feel that something is lacking. I have a large family and we get together often. What do you suggest? –W.C. Dear W.C.: You have many people with whom you can interact and that is terrific. However, you do not mention having a close relationship with anyone, in particular. Perhaps you need to concentrate on that to make your life more complete. Look carefully in your circle of friends for someone who shares your interests and values. There must at least be one person who likes to walk and would enjoy attending social functions with you. Sometimes, you just have to make that extra effort to find a good companion. Dear Goldie: I am a widow in my early sevenSenior Peer Counselling Centres – Island Campbell River 250-287-3044 Courtenay/Comox 250-890-0099 Duncan 250-748-2133 Nanaimo 250-754-3331 Port Hardy 250-949-5110 Salt Spring Island 250-537-4607 Sidney 250-656-5537 Victoria 250-382-4331

Senior Peer Counselling Centres – Mainland Burnaby 604-291-2258 Coquitlam – Tri-Cities 604-945-4480 New Westminster 604-519-1064 North Vancouver 604-987-8138 Richmond 604-279-7034 Vancouver West End 604-669-7339 Vancouver Westside 604-736-3588

ties. Since my husband’s death five years ago, I have kept busy in social groups and with a few close friends. One friend, in particular, has been very kind. The problem is that recently he started pressuring me to be more intimately involved. I am not really interested in getting into that kind of relationship at this time of my life. How can I handle this situation without hurting his feelings? –P.L. Dear P.L.: It is important to be open and honest in this situation. Assure him that you really value his friendship and wish to keep it. He may initially be unhappy with the situation and your response and will let you know. None of us can predict the future. Some friendships can weather any storm, while others crumble. If yours is strong, it will probably survive and be the foundation of a closer relationship down the road. SL

Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer. Send letters to Senior Living, Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria, BC V8T 2C1.

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Your Home, You Life We Can Help You Stay Johanna Booy CPCA, MES

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Call Us at 250-382-2328 www.seniorcareandfitness.com APRIL 2012

41 39

CLASSIFIEDS MOBILE FOOT CARE NURSE Serving Ladysmith to Qualicum Treatment of nails: cutting, filing of thick and fungal nails. Treatment of skin: corns, calluses, dry skin (peeling). DVA client’s no up front cost we bill directly. Katherine Evans, LPN Medical Foot Care Nurse 250-327-0749. PRIVATE SALE SUPPORTIVE LIVING Great Location. 50+ Parskville 1bdr patio home. Multiple upgrades, walk-in shower, 3 appliances. Meals optional. Small pet. power.of.two@hotmail.com 250-3347748. SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING? Move to Pictou, Nova Scotia We think you’ll find what you’re looking for. Call St. Clair or Paula at 902-485-6491

DO ALL HOME REPAIR serving seniors in the community for 36 years. Install electrical, repair doors, lock sets, sheds, decks etc. Any repair you name it. Keep this ad for free estimate. Kurtis 778-323-0665. kurtiskuk@yahoo.com White Rock / South Surrey. WANTED: Old Vancouver or Victoria Chinatown documents, photographs, advertising, correspondence (in Chinese or English). Wanted: Canadian missionaries, travellers, or diplomats in China: diaries, photographs, paintings, antiques. Call Mr. Tokerud (250) 381-2230 bjarnetokerud. com SAANICH VOLUNTEER SERVICES seeks volunteer gardeners who like to dig dirt and prune in another yard. Call Heather at 250-595-8008.

GREATER VICTORIA FOOT CARE SERVICES. In-home care by registered nurse and certified foot care specialist. 250-7214259. www.islandnet.com/~rhutch THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU of Vancouver Island is located at 2201175 Cook St., Victoria BC V8V 4A1. Toll-free phone line for Up-Island 1-877826-4222 (South Island dial 250-3866348). www.bbbvanisland.org E-mail: info@bbbvanisland.org

DEBI’S MOBILE HAIR SERVICES in the comfort of your home for everyone in your family. Serving the Victoria area. Please call Debi at 250-477-7505. RUTH M.P HAIRSTYLING for Seniors in Greater Victoria. In the convenience of your own home! Certified Hairdresser. Call - 250-893-7082. LAWN AND GARDEN SERVICES starting at 30/hr. Certified Horticulturist Fully Insured. References on request. Call Jason @ 250-893-8620 or email oliphantgardens@gmail.com HEALING CONSULTANT - Specializing in Health Assessment in Home. Let Nurse Marcia Help You to Heal. Call (250)686-3081. WANTED: OLD POSTCARDS, stamp accumulations, and pre-1950 stamped envelopes. Also buying old coins, medals and badges. Please call Michael 250-6529412 or email fenian@shaw.ca PLAY-FOR-PLEASURE piano lessons, Cordova Bay. Beginners package available. It’s never too late! Call 250-658-0246. IS STAYING IN YOUR OWN HOME important to you? Are you thinking of having this family conversation with Mom, Dad or your kids in the New Year? Can Mom stay home and stay safe? Who will help Dad with his groceries and meals? Can the kids find time from their busy lives to help out? How do you even start this conversation? Start by going to 4070talk. com or call Home Instead Senior Care at 250.382.6565. The first 30 inquires will receive a complimentary booklet. BBB accredited member HEALING FOOT CARE by Nurse Foot Care Specialist Marcia Goodwin R.N.,B. Sc.N. 35 yrs. Nsg. Experience • Caring • Comprehensive • Professional • Gentle 250-686-3081. (Victoria Area)

EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A PRINTREADY MEMOIR Aldridge Street Publishing. Transcription - Editing - Cover Design - Book Layout. www.aldridgestreet.com Call 250-590-5910.

FOOT CARE NURSE JOHN PATTERSON LPN Providing mobile footcare in Nanaimo. 18 years of nursing experience. Home, facility, and hospital visits. Qualified nursing foot care for toenails corns and calluses. Direct billing for DVA clients. 250 390 9266.

COLLECTOR SEEKING vintage/collectable cameras, binoculars and microscopes. Nikon, Leica, Contax, Rolleiflex, Zeiss, Canon, etc. Mike 250-383-6456 or e-mail: msymons6456@telus.net

INDEPENDENT, 55+ CONDO living with dinner, security, medical alert, light housekeeping provided. Victoria. $85,000 for freehold title. Monthly services fee. Leasing option. Contact laurevans@shaw.ca.

42 40



QUALIFIED CAREGIVER available (nursing background) to provide personal/home support call: Tammy (250-474-2555) WOODEN CREMATION URNS & KEEPSAKE BOXES Our boxes are handcrafted originals designed for storage of cremated remains or precious family Keepsakes. Call Rob @ (250) 729 9813 or visit us online @ www.naturallywood.ca

WE COME TO YOU Earth’s Option – Cremation and Burial Services, low cost cremation and burial services. (778) 4408500 www.earthsoption.com PERSONALS VICTORIA NS SF Late 60s. Enjoys: happy life, family, friends, arts, reading, travel, fitness and good health.Seeks sincere M NS to share the journey with trust, respect, compassion, fun and laughter. escatology. pieta@yahoo.ca FINDING A FRIEND is the best discovery of all. Nice Senior lady wishes to meet a nice N/D N/S Senior gentlemen or lady for true friendship and companionship. 778433-0614.

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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING $45 for 20 words or less. $1.75 per extra word. BW only. Red spot color 10% extra. Boxed Ad - Small (2.2 x 1.2) $125. Boxed Ad - Large (2.2 x 2.4) $225. Plus tax. Ads must be paid at booking. Cheque / Credit Card accepted. Ph. (250)479-4705, Toll-free 1-877-479-4705. Email: office@seniorlivingmag.com Deadline: 15th of the month. Make cheque payable to: Senior Living, Magazine 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 OCTOBER 2009 39

SCAM ALERT Fraud-Proof Your Small Business


he increasing trend of retirees and seniors embarking on small business ventures means senior entrepreneurs need to be on guard when it comes to scams. Being vigilant against fraud not only protects a business’ bottom line, it also strengthens customer trust in the business. Each year BBB receives thousands of complaints from small business owners who fell for an invoicing scam or were misled into paying for products and services they didn’t want. Scammers aren’t always trying to steal money from a business; sometimes they are after a business’ financial or customer data and will use numerous high- and low-tech methods for getting it. Beware of the following scams commonly targeting small business: Directory Scams – Commonly the scammer calls the business claiming they want to update company information in an online or “Yellow Pages” directory. The business is later billed hundreds of dollars for listing services they didn’t agree to or for ads they thought would be in the real Yellow Pages directory. Overpayment Scams – Be extremely cautious if a customer overpays using a cheque or credit card and then asks you

to wire the extra money back to them or to a third party. Overpayment scams target any number of different companies including catering businesses, manufacturers, wholesalers and even sellers on sites like eBay, Craigslist and Etsy.

Being vigilant against fraud not only protects a business’ bottom line, it also strengthens customer trust in the business. Data Breaches – No matter how vigilant your business is a data breach can still happen. Whether it’s the result of hackers, negligence or a disgruntled employee, a data breach can have a severe impact on the level of trust customers have in your business. You can learn how to defend your business from a data breach for free with BBB’s Data Security – Made Simpler at www.bbb. org/data-security Stolen Identity – Scammers will often pretend to be a legitimate business for the purposes of ripping off consumers. When it comes to stolen identity, WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

the business doesn’t necessarily lose money, but their reputation is potentially tarnished as angry customers who were ripped off by the scammers think the real business is responsible. Phishing Emails – Some phishing emails specifically target small business owners. Common examples include emails pretending to be from the bank; the CRA claiming the business is being audited; or phony e-mails from the BBB saying the business has received a complaint (Note: There is currently such a BBB scam email impacting business across B.C.!) If you receive a suspicious e-mail from a government agency or the BBB, don’t click on any links or open any attachments. Contact the agency or BBB directly to confirm the legitimacy of the e-mail. Vishing Scams – Scammers leave an automated message saying a credit card or bank account has been compromised, depleted or closed. The message includes instructions to call a number to get more information about this alleged compromise but, instead, individuals are asked for sensitive information. SL For more information, contact BBB Mainland BC at 604-682-2711 and mbc.bbb.org or BBB Vancouver Island at 250-386-6348 and vi.bbb.org APRIL 2012

43 41


Humour Springs Eternal on the Lawns of Neighbourhood Churches


he industry of humour employs a lot of people whose job it is to make you smile or laugh. Stand-up comedians turn the air blue while late night talk shows lambaste and lay waste to celebrities and politicians. Comedy is generally crude, but not on the front lawns of churches where pastors post moral proverbs for a drive-by audience of gawkers. John Fokkens of the Brethren In Christ Church over on Highway #3 has been turning my head for decades with his sign board of semi-profound, six-word maxims. GOD’S LAST NAME IS NOT DAMN was the first message I got when I moved here almost 30 years ago, and I was sure it was meant to be my welcome-to-the-neighbourhood warning. NO SIN IS LITTLE cinched it. Oh yeah, they had seen me coming. Apparently, pastors know about people like me and know how to make us feel guilty – WHAT IS MISSING FROM CH __CH? UR! And there’s one that could almost bring me back to the church – DOG SPELLED BACKWARDS IS STILL MAN’S BEST FRIEND. Some are meant to change your attitude. BE HUMBLE OR YOU’LL STUMBLE is particularly poignant during election campaigns. And to Canadians especially – DON’T WHINE BUT SHINE. John said that after he ran 1 WEEK WITHOUT CHURCH MAKES 1 WEAK, he got several calls about a spelling mistake. Unlike the signs that farmers post in these parts, at the Brethren In Christ Church – TRESPASSERS ARE WELCOME HERE. A few sayings sound like Chinese proverbs – MAN WITH THICK HEAD MAKES THIN CONVERSATION. Some would make for great tattoos – LOVE MANY, TRUST FEW. PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE. And, yes, it is important to remind yourself that EVERY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD ONE. This one sounds like an open invitation to join the congregation from someone with a lisp – COME 2 CHURCH 4 A FAITHLIFT. Anne Vanderknyff at Maranatha Reformed Church is a bit of a hipster when it comes to her lawn signs. JESUS IS MY ROCK AND MY NAME IS ON THE ROLL and READ THE BIBLE. IT WILL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU. I have and it has. Some signs are undeniable – IT’S HARD TO STUMBLE 44 42


WHEN YOU ARE ON YOUR KNEES. Plus Anne’s big on ocean themes. MAN’S EXPERTS MADE THE TITANIC. GOD’S AMATEURS MADE THE ARK. That’s a bit of one-ups-manship, craftsmanship. Some interesting church signs are now popping up on websites as well. READ THE BIBLE. IT’S USER FRIENDLY PLUS WE OFFER TECH SUPPORT ON SUNDAYS. And it would seem the church is challenging the web head on – THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS THAT CANNOT BE ANSWERED BY GOOGLE. Apparently, the parking lot of the Christian Fellowship Church is attracting non-church goers but they have found a unique solution to the problem – CHURCH PARKING TRESPASSERS WILL BE BAPTISED. Car congestion worked its way into yet another religious solution – KEEP USING MY NAME IN VAIN AND I’LL MAKE RUSH HOUR LONGER – GOD. The Stonebridge Church of God is doing the work of the Lord and the police – HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS. TEXT WHILE DRIVING IF YOU WANT TO MEET HIM. And in case you believe that religion does not have a sense of humour or that futility cannot be briefly beautiful – ADAM BLAMED EVE. EVE BLAMED THE SNAKE. AND THE SNAKE DIDN’T HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON. From The First Church Of Awesome Works (what would Jesus think of that name?) comes a little homily that borders on brilliant – HOW DO WE MAKE HOLY WATER? WE BOIL THE HELL OUT OF IT! And one that’s not quite so ingenious but still a personal favourite is the sign I spotted on the lawn of a church in Fredonia, New York years ago. SERMON SUNDAY 10 A.M. IF YOU’RE TIRED OF SIN, COME IN. And underneath hand-written in red lipstick were the words – IF YOU’RE NOT, CALL RITA 716-894... Servants of the Lord delivered these messages and we laughed at them, as we should. Humour springs eternal on the front lawns SL of neighbourhood churches. Thank Dog. William Thomas is the author of nine books of humour including The True Story of Wainfleet and Margaret and Me and The Cat Rules. For comments or ideas, visit his website at www.williamthomas.ca



APRIL 2012

43 45

Reflections THEN & NOW


hen I think back to the young entrepreneurs of 1947-’48 and ’49, I have to believe that most, if not all, are multi-millionaires today. In grades four through six, the greatest lessons we learned happened during recess. It was investment time, risk-taking time, discovery time. Our currency was marbles. Cats’ eyes marbles, swirl marbles, solid, blue, red, white, yellow, orange, black, purple, green marbles, double winners and so on. With pockets bulging, we would hit the schoolyard knowing we only had 15 minutes to increase or decrease our stashes. Some even lost their entire fortune. Some had sacks to hold their marbles in – made from brightly coloured or plain and drab cloth. Some carried their marbles in paper bags, and of course some kept their marbles in their pockets. All along the school wall, the entrepreneurs would line up tempting the gamblers to try their luck. They would have a miniature bowling pin or a lead soldier or a clothespin or some small object to challenge the aim and prowess of those who thought they could easily increase their fortune. The idea was to stand behind a drawn line, about four or five feet from the

target and shoot or throw your marble trying to knock it over. If you did, you were a winner. If you didn’t, you lost your marbles. You could hear these young venders crying out their wares; “Two and your own back!” that was for a larger target “three and your own back!” that was for a smaller target “four or five and your own back!” that was for a really small target! Then they’d cry: “Try your luck! Try your luck!” Some of the shooters were so good, the vendors would not let them throw. If you were that good, it was best to pretend you weren’t. I was never that good. Now and then, I would luck out, but not often. I remember one morning recess, I was so on, it seemed I couldn’t miss. I won so many marbles, I thought of retiring. I lost them all in the afternoon recess. You could also play marbles by digging out a gouge in the soft ground and trying to get your marbles into the hole using your finger and knuckle to “shoot” them (talk about a dirty finger.) At our school, that game was mostly played by girls and took too long to amass a fortune. Shooting marbles at a target, however, was the ultimate in masculinity. It was almost as good as being Gene Autry or Roy Rogers

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Photo: Krystle Wiseman


or Hopalong Cassidy. They never missed. But we did, and had to settle for being like Smiley Burnett or Gabby Hays. We didn’t play marbles all year long. There was a season for it just like there was a season for the Bo-Lo bat and the yo-yo. I think it was in September or October. It didn’t matter really. No 10 to 12 year old concentrated on seasons. There were only two important days in the year. Christmas and your birthday. I had many marbles in those days. Not ones I won but ones I traded something else for. My prize was two sapphire red double winners, which I liked to hold up to the light and gaze through. They were marvelous those two double winners, the king of marbles or alleys, as we now and then called them. Far bigger than your average marble. Treasures to be held on to and not to gamble away. Kids would offer 10, 12 or even 15 normal marbles in trade for just one double winner. I treasured my two ruby ones. Eventually, my dad stole them to be the eyes in a totem pole he had carved. I tried to get them back but they were glued in too tight. One season, with a purple cloth sack with a gold cord my mom had given me, I took all my marbles to school. I was going for broke. I would either come home a very wealthy guy or a pauper, better to be pitied than applauded. That was the day I lost all my marbles. Many people to this very day – these many years later – somehow know about that infamous day in my young life. I hear it often: “There’s a guy who’s lost all his marbles” or “There’s someone without their marbles!” Somehow, there’s a strange comfort in that. SL

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