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June 2008

Vancouver Island’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine

Marine enthusiast Bill Conconi anticipates

TALL SHIPS’ RETURN Dr. Pat Martin Bates Still striving for excellence

Live from Chemainus!


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COVER PHOTO: Bill Conconi is Director and Vice President of the Victoria Tall Ships Society, and Chairman of the Fleet Committee (along with Steve White). Story on page 6. Photo: Steve White Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Sheriff Contributors Norman Archer, Tiffany Auvinen, Goldie Carlow, Judee Fong, Gipp Forster, Bryden Gage, Beth Hickok, Connie Hickok, Diane Hoffmann, Al Keith, Chris Millikan, Rick Millikan, Pat Nichol, Enise Olding, Michael Rice, Vernice Shostal, Barbara Small, Judy Stafford, Steve White Design Barbara Risto, Bobbie Jo Sheriff Proofreader Allyson Mantle Advertising Manager Barry Risto For advertising information, call 479-4705 Ad Sales Staff IMG Innovative Media Group (Victoria) Mathieu Powell 250-704-6288 John Dubay 250-294-9700 Ann Lester (Nanaimo) 250-755-7750 Barry Risto (Vancouver) 250-479-4705 Shelley Ward (Comox Valley) 250-702-3731 RaeLeigh Buchanan (Island) 250-479-4705 Robert Doak (Vancouver) 250-479-4705 Distribution Ron Bannerman, Gail Fattore, Jim Gahr, Lorraine Rhode, Barry Risto, Betty Risto, Sheila Rose Richardson,Ted Sheaff, Tanya Turner Contact Information Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave.,Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 E-mail (General) (Editorial) Web site Subscriptions $32 (includes GST) for 10 issues. Canadian residents only. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Senior Living is an independent publication and its articles imply no endorsement of any products or services. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Unsolicited articles are welcome and should be e-mailed to Senior Living Vancouver Island is distributed free throughout Vancouver Island. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living Vancouver Island (10 issues per year), the Housing Guide (January & July) and Senior Living Vancouver & Lower Mainland (10 issues per year). ISSN 1710-3584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)



FEATURES 6 Tall Ships Return

Over two dozen tall ships from around the world will sail in to Victoria this month to celebrate her maritime heritage.

12 Desire for Excellence

Internationally renowned artist Dr. Pat Martin Bates brings light out of darkness.

14 Live from Chemainus

Volunteers work behind the scenes to help keep Chemainus’s popular theatre alive.

16 Still Learning

Marine biologists Phil Lambert and Gord Green retired from their positions at the Royal BC Museum – sort of!

18 A Win-Win Situation

For Michelle Young, a little determination went a long way to help abused women.

22 Star Power

Not just for sun worshippers, Hawaii is a big draw for star gazers too!

28 Snoring Problem?

More than a social issue, snoring can become a health issue.

30 Into the Swim

Swimming is an exercise that gives the whole body a gentle, beneficial “tune-up!”

32 Row, Row, Row!

Connie Hickok rowed 150 nautical miles along the coast of the Island – in a dinghy!

40 Dream Realized

Retired Lt.-Cmdr Ed Falstrem’s childhood dream of becoming a submariner continues to flicker – even in retirement.

42 Downtown Landmark turns 100 With equal measure of nostalgia and good humour, Glenshiel residents celebrate their centennial.

46 Red Tomatoes

Author Les MacNeill turned a frightening and potentially fatal experience into a story of hope and renewal.

Columns 4 The Family Caregiver Barbara Small

10 Victoria’s Past Revisited Norman Archer

20 Scam Alert Bryden Gage

26 Ask Goldie

Goldie Carlow

34 Courageous & Outrageous Pat Nichol

37 Bygone Treasures Michael Rice

48 Reflections:Then and Now Gipp Forster


Home Support Directory 36 Crossword 38 Classifieds 39 Events 44



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Travel Tips for Family Caregivers

or many people, the summer months mean vacations and travelling. If you are travelling with someone with a disability or illness, this can be a challenge. Below are some tips to make your trip less stressful.

guests. Call the Red Cross office in the city you plan to visit to find out whether you can access the equipment loan cupboard there. If this is unavailable, find out whether the medical equipment stores in the area have a short-term rental plan.

1. Select a travel agent who has experience in dealing with arrangements for disabled people.

6. Plan ahead for a trip by packing important documents in your carry-on bag, such as insurance cards, your physician’s phone number, refills on medications and a copy of medical records, in case your family member needs care while away.

2. Make a list of daily tasks you do automatically: dietary needs, toileting and mobility needs, so you remember to take along all required items. Some automatic activities aren’t remembered and equipment gets left at home. 3. Check with the airline to see how they handle equipment that has to travel with you, such as canes, walkers or wheelchairs. If the airline tapes removable parts together put your name on all the pieces so you get them all back. 4. If you require special assistance boarding the plane, let the airline know when you make your reservation and again at the gate. 5. Sometimes, hotels have access to a Red Cross equipment loan cupboard and can order helpful equipment for

7. When travelling, try to follow your home routine as much as possible. Minor changes in routine can distress your family member. Plan for rest periods throughout the day. 8. Remember, someone who is at risk of wandering when at home, may also do so in an unfamiliar place. If this is the case, put a card with the name and address of where you are staying in the person’s pocket. 9. Toileting may require some advanced planning when you are travelling. If you are driving, stop at rest areas every few hours. If the person needs assistance in the bathroom and you


may be in there for a while, bring along an “occupied” sign for the washroom door. If flying, check with the airlines as to what they have available to assist you. Some have an in-flight wheelchair that can be used to get a person to the washroom. If you are unfamiliar with alternative aids for toileting, check with your VIHA case manager. 10. Remember, when renting a car, let them know what your needs are regarding accessibility and storing equipment such as a wheelchair. 11. Check with the city you are visiting as to whether or not you can use your Handicapped Designation Decal there. Also, ask for information about their regulations for Handicapped Parking and whether accessible transit is SL available. Next month: Caregiving from a distance Barbara Small is Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society.

The Family Caregiver column is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of ElderSafe Support Services



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Grander than ever


xcitement is building as the Tall Ships’ visit to Victoria this month sails ever closer. It can be seen clearly in the crinkles of Bill Conconi’s eyes as he tells how a massive enterprise, which includes organizing over 1,000 volunteers, will come together. “I’ve been involved since before the first Tall Ships’ event happened here in 2005. I was on the board of directors who started the process and, last time around, I was responsible for boat tours, programs and berthing the boats – that’s berthing with an E,” he explains with a laugh. 6


The Tall Ships’ Festival is divided into two major components – land and water. Bill looks after water, along with co-chair, Steve White, who is retired from the navy. The two men are tied into the communications and operations centre. They look after the vessels, their crews, and the events built around vessels, like the tours. A committee looks after guided tours, and Bill and Steve help facilitate the line-ups of people. An estimated 30-40,000 ship visits will need to be co-ordinated. With something for the whole family, the Maritime Museum of B.C.’s Pirate School staff will teach children, ages

four to 10: nautical tattoos, scrimshaw carving, pirate swordplay and the art of treasure map-making. There will be regular live pirate performances demonstrating the life of a pirate – right up to the infamous eye patch. Also, for students in Grades 6, 7 and 8, there’s the Tall Ship’s University with “professors” from a Canadian naval vessel currently in refit. Children will be given a passport to be stamped as they board the ships, complete certain tasks, and learn skills, such as tying knots. And at the end, they receive a diploma. “Part of the training of the Tall Ships is about teaching leadership,” says

Bill, “giving kids challenges and skills. Scouts, Cadets, youth groups and even children at risk are put into leadership roles. The ships are traditionally rigged vessels, designed like back in the 1800s – very hands on; there are no buttons to push. Kids work hard, and gain the confidence to go up a mast and get over their fear of heights.” A resident of Victoria most of his life, Bill may be retired from a 30-year teaching career at the senior secondary level, but he remains heavily involved with youth leadership. His passion for teaching has continued as he explains one of his other “jobs.” “I’m also the Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Student Activity Advisors. We have member schools across Canada and we offer programs that have leadership opportunities tied to Tall Ships. Every year, I bring 15 leaders here; they stay with my wife and me before they go out to sea for a week on a Tall Ship. We’ve done it for four or five years now. There’s no TV on board, they have to work together, stay in close quarters and they might even have to stay up all night to make sure they don’t drift. They have to meet a lot of challenges and it increases their confidence. We get to see them at the end of the week after they’ve had their experience, and they’re changed kids. It’s amazing.” It seems Bill is in great demand and not just by the kids. He says he can’t get along without his Blackberry, which he checks several times and chuckles, “I just cleared it of messages yesterday, and I have 70 messages again today.” But he does manage to sneak off occasionally for a few days on his powerboat to get away from the crowds and cellphones. Trading in his sailboat of 30 years, he admits that paying for gas isn’t so bad. The cost of replacing one sail is enough to let him cruise for three or four years. And after the Tall Ships festival is put to bed, he’ll take a month or two off in the summer and cruise up the coast. But vacations are secondary to staying busy, which is in keeping with Bill’s style. He’s been very involved with the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, as a past


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M A I L T O : A C I C , 8 2 5 L A K E S H O R E D R I V E S W, S A L M O N A R M , B C V I S I T U S AT W W W. A C I C I N V E S T O R . C A

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JUNE 2008




David Reid

Photo: Steve White

commodore and now an honorary life member. “I enjoy it. If I wasn’t enjoying it, I wouldn’t do it. I consider it a personal challenge – I believe in the whole concept of being a lifelong learner,” he says. “Through volunteering, I’m more learned and aware of working in a community, working with business people, and the organization component of a large event. It keeps me alert and on top of things and I get to meet new people. I was very involved as a teacher for years – now I just transferred that involvement. I was busy then; I am busy now.” Thinking for a minute, he laughs, “But then I had weekends off that I don’t have anymore!” It doesn’t take long to realize why he forgoes his weekends. “I work with some great people and I learn something from them all. I watch people volunteer and they just come to life. It’s an incredible opportunity and I get a sense of well-being when I see opportunities open up for people to keep connected. Giving back to your community is important; there is more to making a society run than just taking wages and doing your job.” In his spare time, Bill chairs the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, a racing event that hosted over 200 boats during the last week of May. EstablishDebra Rees ing a connection with harbour people and the city made for an easy transition to throwing his hat into the Tall Ship’s entourage. “It’s a lot easier this time around; we are a lot clearer about what we have to

Above, Bill Conconi, at the helm of his Pacific Trawler 37, owned a sailboat for 30 years before making the switch three years ago. Right, From New London, Connecticut, the Eagle is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services. Page 6, the popular Lady Washington was the Interceptor in the movie Pirates of the Carribean, and will be in returning for this year’s festival, June 26-28.

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do. The first time, it was a discovery for all of us – we probably over-organized. Now we have done it once, we are more focused.” Organization of the event is first-class – they’ve covered everything from music to food. The Festival Entertainment Stage will host live concerts and festival goers will enjoy some historically inspired “Bites” from the 1830s until today, including early Jewish and Chinese food eaten in the city, Gold Rush fare and Afternoon Tea. An indescribable magic surrounds the Tall Ships; they bring with them a feeling of nostalgia as the towering clouds of the sails appear over the horizon. The history and the mystery make many, young and old, dream of life on the open SL seas. And if you see Bill out there, give him a wave.

Ship photos: Courtesy of Victoria Tall Ships Society

For more information on Tall Ships Victoria, June 26th– 28th, or to volunteer, call 250-384-2005 or visit their website

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VICTORIA’S Past REVISITED A t the beginning of the 20th century, the muddy, putrid waters of James Bay lapped near the walls of the Church of Our Lord, some 200 metres beyond their present limits at the Causeway. The smell of rotting organic material and city garbage was made even worse by the effluent that poured out of William Pendray’s B.C. Soap Works on the water’s edge, close to where the large Arbutus tree now stands at the northern end of the Empress Hotel’s front lawn. The foul odours that greeted anyone venturing near the magnificent new Parliament Buildings needed to be eliminated; the swamp had to be drained and the reclaimed land put to good use. Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway did not intend to build a hotel in Victoria. Why would he? The railway terminated in Vancouver. But then Victoria made him an offer he could not refuse. In return for massive tax reductions and other significant incentives, Shaughnessy, who obviously played hard to get, finally agreed to build a hotel on the reclaimed land that would boast at least 150 rooms, remain open throughout the year and still be there 50 years hence. Rattenbury had already manoeuvred himself into the good graces of the CPR and was its principal architect for Western Canada. He set to work on the new project with characteristic arrogant enthusiasm. The swamp was drained, Pendray’s Soap Works was relocated to Laurel Point, the rickety old wooden James Bay Bridge was demolished and the Causeway built. But how would one build a hotel on a marsh? Rattenbury knew that part of London, England had been built on a




salt swamp by the use of wooden pilings. He followed this method, using 2,855 Douglas fir tree trunks, clustered together in groups with a concrete pyramid on the top of each group, to stand the hotel on stilts. Those wooden supports still do their job, pickled in the brine and solid as rock. In the 100 years of its existence, the hotel has moved less than an inch, demonstrating once again Rattenbury’s uncanny genius.

war broke out and was posted to France. The two were passionately in love and, to be near him, Alma worked as a nurse on the front line in France. She was wounded twice and was decorated for her bravery. Sadly, Dolling was mortally wounded in 1916. Her marriage to Captain Compton Pakenham in 1921 was a disaster and ended in divorce. She came back to Vancouver with her son from this marriage, Christopher, moved in with her mother and began performing again. In the 100 years of its Although Ratz was nearly existence, the hotel has twice her age, he and Alma became lovers. He flaunted the removed less than an inch, lationship all over town, which demonstrating once again horrified polite society. He took her home with him and moved Rattenbury’s uncanny genius. Florrie to an upstairs room where he kept her as a recluse. But on the home front, things were His pleas for a divorce were refused, not as rosy. His relationship with Florrie so Ratz tightened the screws by cuthad deteriorated over the years and the ting off first the heat, then the light to couple had nothing in common except her room. Florrie’s weak heart could not for their two children - Frank, who had take the strain, and she divorced him in two club feet, and Mary who suffered 1925. She moved into a house nearby from severe emotional problems. “Ratz” on Prospect Terrace, designed by a rival and Florrie lived in separate parts of the architect. She died of heart failure two house and communicated only by the years later. Ratz married Alma and, at exchange of notes. One evening, while first, was blissfully happy. negotiating the contract to design the However, he had not counted on pubCrystal Gardens, the new swimming lic reaction. He had already lost much pool for the hotel, Ratz encountered his of his charm in society. He was heartily femme fatale, a stunning beauty who disliked by almost everyone and only swept him off his feet. She was the Vic- grudgingly admired by anyone. This toria-born virtuoso, Alma Pakenham, behaviour, however, was the last straw and Victoria turned its back on the man who performed at the Empress. Alma, the daughter of a German fa- who once ruled society. There were no ther and an English mother, was born in more parties, no more appearances as 1891. She was a brilliant musician and the guest of honour at civic occasions had performed solo works on both the but, even worse, no more contracts and piano and violin with the Toronto Sym- no more work. The couple was coldphony Orchestra. In 1914, she married shouldered. In 1928, their only son, Caledon Dolling who enlisted when John, was born.


Final in a three-part tale of Francis Mawson Rattenbury BY NORMAN K. ARCHER

The following year, a very disap- tried for murder in a sensational trial at leased in 1942 to fight in the Second pointed and embittered Francis Rat- the Old Bailey Law Courts in London World War. He died of natural causes in tenbury sailed back to England with his that captured the interest of the public. a retirement home a few years ago. Young John Rattenbury came back to young wife, the baby boy and Alma’s Alma was released and checked into a son, Christopher. They rented a modest local nursing home. George was sen- Canada. He was educated as a resident house, Villa Madeira, 5 Manor Road, tenced to hang. Alma was distraught. student at St. George’s Boys School in Bournemouth and Ratz was ready for She had lost her husband and was los- Vancouver. Showing talents remarkably work, advertising himself as the de- ing her boyfriend. She borrowed money similar to his father, he graduated from signer of Parliament Buildings in Vic- from a nurse, travelled home to Bourne- the University of British Columbia with toria, Canada. The English were not mouth, took the bus to the Three Arches high honours as an architect. He decidimpressed and gave him no work. Ratz, Railway Bridge, where she and George ed to leave the area where there were so many ugly stories about his plunged into depression, drank and smoked heavily. parents and moved to ScottsAlma, ever the adventuress, dale, Arizona in 1950 where In 1935, both Alma and George became the accompanist for one he became one of the Taliesin were tried for murder in a senof England’s foremost tenors, Architects, with the celebrated Frank Titterton. She also perFrank Lloyd Wright. The ecsational trial at the Old Bailey formed solo piano on the BBC. centric Wright became to John Law Courts in London that capShe was young and fun-loving. like the father he never really There was a car in the garage knew. tured the interest of the public. that she couldn’t drive, and Ratz Sadly, nothing in Victoria is wouldn’t drive, so she advernamed after the man who put tised for a chauffeur. Eighteen-year-old had sat so often enjoying a picnic on the his imprint so vividly on this, one of the George Percy Stoner was engaged and banks of the River Avon. Taking a long world’s most beautiful cities. Nothing, bladed knife, she stabbed herself several that is, except one little street. And it’s moved into the family home. George was a willing lad but not par- times in the chest, fell into the River and a dead end. SL ticularly bright. Alma lost no time in se- stained the water with her blood. In response to a flood of more than ducing him, flattering him with a visit to Norman Archer is London as brother and sister where she 300,000 signatures, George’s case was an historical city tour bought him expensive clothes from Har- reviewed and his sentence was com- guide in Victoria and rod’s. George soon became jealous of muted to one of life imprisonment. He the author of Tales of any affection that Ratz showed to Alma served only seven years and was re- Old Victoria. and although they no longer slept in the same bedroom, George was afraid that an impending visit to Bridport might rekindle their love. ...The place to So on Sunday evening, March 24th, go when you want to hear better. when Alma had gone to bed, George • Free Hearing Evaluations • Satisfaction Guaranteed crept into the downstairs library with a • 60 Day Trial Period • Many Insurance Plans Accepted • 3 Year Warranties Available • DVA Taps Providers heavy wooden mallet he had borrowed • Repairs To All Makes • Service Provider For WCB from his grandmother and savagely • World Wide Service • Over 60 Years’ Experience clubbed the dozing Rattenbury about Call Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation. the head, splitting his skull open. Ratz Beltone Hearing Care Centres Helping the world hear better never regained consciousness and died Victoria (downtown) 383-3323 • Victoria (Hillside) 370-5199 • Sidney 665-3310 a few hours later. • Duncan 746-4246 • Nanaimo 756-9900 • Parksville 954-2246 • Port Alberni 723-5091 In 1935, both Alma and George were Courtenay 334-4044 • Campbell River 286-6250 • Powell River 459-0597

JUNE 2008




nternationally renowned artist and printmaker, Dr. Pat Martin Bates, says she can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a pencil in her hand. Born in Sackville, New Brunswick, her first studio, organized by her father, was little red tables and chairs, where she and her neighbourhood friends drew and painted. “Then my father died when I was eight,” she says. The family was separated and Pat went to live in a parsonage with her great aunt and uncle, where the prolific artist says painting pictures was her lifesaver. “I was alone a lot and that’s what I turned to.” After she returned to live with her mother, Pat says her teachers thought she had talent. At age 12, she won a prize that entitled her to take Saturday art classes from professors at Mount Allison University in Sackville. Even after she was married with two children, Pat continued to paint and sell her work and pray that someday she would be able to continue her studies. Only two Art Schools existed in Canada at the time, neither of which was in Halifax 12


where the family was stationed. Her prayers were answered when her husband, a paymaster in the army at Dalhousie University, was transferred to Belgium, where Pat enrolled in the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts – the first Canadian to attend the academy and where she completed a Fine Arts Diploma with Honours. They didn’t speak much English, says Pat, but it didn’t matter. “There is a communication between people and there is no name for it and it’s a communication of enthusiasm and desire to do something, the desire for excellence, and if your teacher has it and inspires that in you, then you really can fly.” Motivated by the same philosophy later when she became a professor of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria, Pat says she “learned to point out the areas that are good, that are working and then slowly work on the areas that are not.” Pat continued studies in art at l’Institut National Supérieur des Beaux-Arts in Belgium and Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Sorbonne in Paris as well as Pratt in New York on a scholarship.

burgh Festival. In 1991, the University of Victoria presented Pat with an Alumni Teaching Award and, in 1994, an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Award. A lifetime of Pat’s work is represented in art galleries around the world. Among them are the National Gallery of Canada, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and museums in New York, Tokyo, Osaka, Vancouver and, currently, the Winchester Galleries in08-0590 Victoria.WR TOA SeniorLiving:07-0359 Like everybody else, Pat has had dif-

ficult times. “No one escapes,” she says. “If you’ve gone through a lot of things yourself, you are more inclined to be sympathetic. You can’t allow negative thoughts to creep in – and they do. You have to really believe in yourself.” “You are never too old to be an artist,” says Pat as she turns the wheel of her five-geared, “best in the world” Brandt Etching Press, and talks about how much she loves her art. At age 81, VAN SeniorsLiving .eps 5/15/08 she continues to show the world how 9:24 to SL bring light out of darkness.

An Invitation to all Seniors to experience



T H U R S D A Y June J U N E12, 1 2 ,2008 2008 Thursday, 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

If you have never visited your neighborhood Amica Retirement Community, this is the day to satisfy your curiosity…and your taste buds! Throughout the day of June 12, we will showcase one of our true passions…the fine dining experience and the culinary excellence of our Chefs and staff. Mark your calendar to join us any time during this complimentary day that revolves around the enjoyment of food, presentation, preparation and the company of friends!

Amica at Arbutus Manor

2125 Eddington Drive Vancouver, BC V6L 3A9

Amica at Mayfair

2267 Kelly Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6N4

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1850 Rosser Avenue Burnaby, BC V5C 5E1

Amica at West Vancouver

659 Clyde Avenue West Vancouver, BC V7T 1C8 Amica at Beechwood Village 2315 Mills Road Sidney, BC V8L 5W6

10:00 am to Noon

Self Serve Continental Breakfast

Noon to 2:30 pm

Chef Action Stations

Amica at Douglas House 50 Douglas Street Victoria, BC V8V 2N8

2:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Chef Demonstrations & Food Sampling

Amica at Somerset House 540 Dallas Road Victoria, BC V8V 4X9

For more information, visit


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Inspired by books inherited from her father on myths, legends, reflections and especially poetry by Rumi, a 12th century mystic, Pat says, “You can relate to those poets who were looking toward a higher level of thinking and being in the world, but not of the world.” Pat believes when people do what they’re meant to do, they’re an extension of something. “It comes from somewhere else and all you are is the conduit that brings it out.” Four pieces of her art, “The Sispi Sisters Flight to Planet Molfisbir,” purchased by External Affairs in Ottawa, are about flying to Molfisbir, her mythical planet, which she discovered in 1964. “Trying to escape into a dream world is when you really find yourself,” says Pat. Among the various art forms Pat has worked with, her signature work is print art illuminated by light boxes. The light coming through her dark art suggests “through dark we come to light. I don’t think of black or dark as anything but mysterious,” she says, “and a gateway to understanding.” Pat’s extraordinary creativity has brought about great experiences, including receiving a Gold Medal at a Print Making Exhibition in Norway, one of only two women and the only Canadian to receive it. But one of the best was receiving a grand award in Krakow, Poland, with hundreds of people in attendance, an award she says she might not have won had the judges known her gender. With a sense of humour she says she inherited from her mother, Pat laughs when she talks about everyone’s surprise when she came up to receive her award and they found that “Professor Pat Martin Bates from Vancouver Island, Canada” was a woman. Pat has won awards in art biennials since 1963 with the grand award of honour for Canada in the First Bienal de Grabado of South America, Prix d’achats in Great Britain, Japan, Switzerland, France and Italy. She has also won prizes from Norway and Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee Medal, the Zachenta Medal in Poland and a Bursary from the Edin-

JUNE 2008






hemainus Theatre Festival, a live professional theatre with guest artists from across North America, is the culmination of a philanthropist, professional talent, a charming seaside mural town and an enthusiastic community with world-class hospitality. The theatre company, which turns 25 this year, was the vision of Oswald Smith, a philanthropist who felt that theatre and the arts were a way to influence the community in a positive way. Beginning as a satellite campus of the Rosebud School of the Arts in Rosebud, Alberta, the Oswald Smith Foundation, together with a lot of community fundraising, gave birth to the professional theatre company. Taking baby steps in the early days, the theatre offered short runs of four shows a year before it evolved to its current six shows run almost 11 months of the year. In addition, the theatre offers Kidzplay twice a year for children four years of age and older. Liz Simonson began volunteering for the theatre festival 12 years ago when she moved from Victoria to Chemainus. “I have always gone to the theatre every chance I had,” says the former medical secretary and mother of four. When she relocated, she wasted no time buying season’s tickets and getting involved. “I volunteer wherever they need me,” says Liz, one of over 150 volunteers. “Today, I am doing the ambassador in the lobby. I meet and greet the people and answer questions.” Once a week, she donates a day of her time in the administration office. Audio assistance hearing devices, for those hard of hearing, are free to anyone who wants them. “They really enhance the hearing in the theatre,” says Liz. “It’s a radio-operated 14


system, and everyone says it’s very good.” An active person, Liz belongs to two choirs, the Victoria Choral Society and the Seniors’ Choir in Chemainus. She also likes sewing and belongs to a quilting group. Ralph London and his wife, Peggy, have lived in Chemainus for three years and volunteer at the theatre. Born in Saint John, N.B., Ralph worked with the New Brunswick Telephone Company and moved to Colwood in 1998, where he and Peggy looked after grandchildren and worked with their church. Ralph says the highlight of his life was becoming a Christian when he was 20. His advice to seniors is, “Eat well. Exercise. Have a good outlook on life and have faith.” At the theatre, Ralph can be found handing out hearing devices or ushering people into the theatre. Three years ago, Brook Maver, who is employed in the administrative office as a volunteer co-ordinator and administrative assistant, moved to Chemainus from Duncan. Besides enjoying the community she lives in, Brook loves being able to walk to work. Born in Nanaimo, Brook has travelled extensively and lived in different places around the world, but she likes Vancouver Island best. Formerly, she worked as an administrative assistant and office manager with Eco Tourism, a company that ran a 92-foot schooner up and down the West Coast into the Great Bear Rainforest, Gwaii Haanas and South East Alaska. With the Chemainus Theatre Festival, Brook says, “I have done several jobs in my career, but this job is by far the best. Being able to work with all the volunteers is an incredible experience. It’s wonderful, the number of hours they contribute.” Before a matinee or evening performance, the Playbill

Dining Room, featuring live piano music, caters to a variety of appetites with an original menu for every show. For the remainder of the year, patrons still have a chance to see: Saint Joan, Shaw’s monumental work re-examining Joan of Arc’s dramatic rise and fall in light of nationalism, political corruption, religious intolerance and hero worship. South Pacific, a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on James Michener’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Tales of the South Pacific. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson’s interpretation of Annie Sullivan, a gifted and unconventional tutor who steps into the life of Helen Keller, a blind, deaf and mute girl, to liberate her from a world of dark silence and confusion. Last of all, Having Hope at Home, by David S. Craig, a big-hearted comedy where a young girl invites her uptight parents to her ramshackle farmhouse for an early Christmas dinner, but goes into labour before they arrive. A theatre with a conscience, CTF is aware of the social, cultural and spiritual responsibility art has in society and, in the future, will explore stories that celebrate hope, love, forgiveness and reconciliation. They will produce comedies, farces, dramas, musicals, mysteries, melodramas and operettas from Canadian and International award-winning scripts, as well as adaptations from classic literature. Before entering the theatre or after enjoying the performance, patrons are invited to visit the Gallery Gift Shop, where over 100 B.C. artists have showcased their work and where the Gallery exhibits the work of many talented artists throughout the year. SL For more information about the Chemainus Theatre Festival, visit their website at

Open House Saturday, June 14th 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ROSS PLACE retirement resort

Distinctive accommodation and independent lifestyle services for seniors

2638 Ross Lane, Victoria (250) 381.8666

Geo Travel

Travel Through Time in Peru

Peru is home to some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery in South America. Between the Peruvian Andes, the classic metropolis of Lima, and the ancient cities of the Incas, Peru is thousands of miles and years of history to experience.

Highlights: Visit Cusco, the old Incan capital. See the breathtaking ruins of Macchu Picchu and the Oilantaytambo Fortress. Feel the vibrant and colourful Pisac Incan Market. Includes: airfare from Vancouver, accommodations, meals and sightseeing as per itinerary

8 days, 7 nights

Photos: Vernice Shostal



2599CAD + tax

October 1, 2008 departure - Book by May 31 2008! subject to availability - taxes & fees extra

Above,Volunteer Liz Simonson acting as ambassador hands out programs. Left, Janice Foran talks with the dancers backstage after the performance of Scent of Cedars. JUNE 2008




cooping up a piece of slippery, spindly seaweed from the cold water’s edge, Phil Lambert proceeds to examine it closely, and then takes a small nibble. “A bit salty,” he laughs, throwing it back into the ocean and continuing his stroll down the beach. He jumps back as the tide reminds him he’s not in the lab anymore. Phil and his colleague, Gord Green, recently retired from their roles as marine biologists with the Royal BC Museum. Retirement should mean time to wander down the beach and breathe in clean, salty air on a crisp spring day, but this day is an anomaly. After putting in more than 30 years each at the museum, they signed up as volunteer research associates as soon as they retired. Phil stopped working earlier, so Gord jokes, “Before I left, people used to say, ‘We see more of Phil now that he has retired.’” That seems to be the norm at the museum, where volunteers clock more than 48,000 hours every year. Founded in 1886, RBCM collects artifacts, documents and specimens of B.C.’s natural and human history, safeguarding them for the future. Everyone there is passionate about sharing B.C.’s fascinating history with the 800,000 visitors they welcome annually. Each exhibit and gallery provides glimpses into the province’s past, present and future. Gord and Phil have both been pivotal in contributing to those collections. They worked in the same department for 16


Retired Marine Biologists Gord Green (left) and Phil Lambert share a joke at Esquimalt Lagoon.

about 20 years before Gord moved into public programming. During their stint together, they used to take major trips aboard fisheries research vessels for a few weeks, where they would collect specimens to take back to the lab to catalogue. Finding something new or undescribed proved to be exciting time and time again. And now it seems it’s tough for them to stay away from that excitement for long. But they both agree that what they miss the most from their working life are the people. Gord explains, “It was a very interesting group of people to work with – so many different backgrounds: people who study, artists, carpenters. You get to deal with all the different groups from research to public programming, to the exhibits people. The work was always interesting, always changing – never a dull moment. But in the end, it was the people.” Phil agrees, “Coffee time was always interesting conversation. And it was always fun to go to work. I never begrudged going to work, well, unless there was a meeting – they weren’t too onerous, but you always felt you could be putting your time to better use.” And better use included the discovery of a new genus and species of a Sea Star. “I found it before I retired; I’m not just going to drop it!” Phil explains, justifying why he still wants to go back into the lab. And that means work, lots of work, as the co-author of “re-describing” this discovery, as well as a book he’s writing

Photos: Judy Stafford


on the Sea Cucumbers of Chile. No paid-for trip down there yet, but maybe someday he’ll be able to see those specimens in their real habitat and not just preserved in a jar. “It’s just life-long learning,” says Phil. “I’m still learning: finding out things about our environment that nobody else knows. It’s up to me to reveal to people and make them aware of life in our waters. There are not many people who are experts like me; there might be five in the world – I am one of them. It’s almost like it’s your duty to keep going and keep up your end of your field. There are a bunch of people who are retired who are just as busy. So it’s something like you’ve built up the expertise, you don’t want it to die off.” Writing books is one way of sharing information so others, like commercial fishermen, can use it. And sharing knowledge is still important to these two, even after they’ve already contributed greatly to their field. Gord says being retired is the ideal job. “It’s the best of both worlds. You still do what you love, but it’s no longer your problem. And because you are not getting paid, you don’t have to do what you don’t want to do.” But hanging out at the museum keeps them in touch with all their old colleagues. In fact, a group of them are heading to Las Vegas for a vacation. And it sounds like Gord needs one. He retired on a Friday, and the following Tuesday, he was back at it helping his son Jeff unload the largest shipment they’d ever received of wetsuits. It’s the busiest time of year for their family scuba diving supply distribution business. “I didn’t retire,” he laughs, “I just changed jobs!” The warehouse is bursting with the latest style of scuba gear, surfboard leashes, wax, sunscreen, ding repair kits and wake boarding accessories. The gear seems to have changed a lot since these guys were jumping into the frigid B.C. coastal waters looking for tiny crustaceans. Gord and Phil work just as well together now as they did for all those years before. And neither of them is truly retired. Perhaps the steady paycheque is missed, but they have a lot more time, expertise and commitment to share. And they love SL every minute.

Stage 1 BYLAW

Water Conservation Bylaw

Effective May 1-Sept 30 • Lawn watering is permitted two days per week as follows: - even numbered addresses may water Wednesday and Saturday from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. - odd numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. • Established trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be watered by hand any day and any time if watering is done by a hand-held container, a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle, or a micro/drip irrigation system. • Established trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be watered with a sprinkler any day from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. • New sod or seeded lawns may be watered outside permitted days by special permit only.


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2029 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria, BC. V8R 1E5 JUNE 2008





Photo: Judee Fong

SITUATION lashing an infectious smile, Michelle Young enthusiastically talks about the birth and growth of Women In Need (WIN). In 1991, armed with confidence, determination and a personal loan of $1,000, Michelle, Charlotte Semple and Carole Fast built a self-sufficient thrift-store organization geared to help abused women gain their independence. “What we started 17 years ago is now called ‘enterprising non-profit,’” Michelle explains. “In 1991, abused women had few options,” she continues. “At that time, once a woman ‘abandoned’ her home, she couldn’t return to remove any of her things, the children’s clothing or other household necessities. Charlotte believed that if a woman had access to the basics of furnishing a home, she would have more options to improve her conditions – the main one being she didn’t have to return to a violent situation.” Today, four Victoria WIN stores flourish under the successful management of the Victoria Women In Need Community Co-operative. “We loved thrift stores, knew what we liked and what we didn’t,” says Michelle. “Most of all, we like and respect each other and treat our employees, volunteers and customers with the same respect.” Volunteers and employees range in age, economic backgrounds and varying levels of education. Over the years, Michelle has seen how a person “truly cannot judge a book by its cover.” Eight years ago, Michelle had an enthusiastic young girl, with purple streaks in her hair, tattoos, and a lip and nose piercing, working with another new volunteer, a conservative, older woman. Laughing, Michelle recalls this older woman saying to her after a few shifts, “You know, Michelle, I would never before talk to anyone who looks like that girl, but she’s a most delightful and smart young woman. I think I may have learned something.” Michelle shares another inspiring story about a woman who had arthritic hands and never had a job. “She came to volunteer, but wouldn’t go near the cash register. Her arthritic hands made her nervous she would make mistakes. I was managing the store then and doing some of the cashiering, as well, so I coaxed her to stand and bag for me. Eventually, she rang in one sale and gradually she felt confident to work the 18



cash register independently. I still remember when she told me she had submitted a resumé in a card shop and got the job. I was so proud of her!” After operating costs, all the profits from the WIN stores fund its various programs and services established to help women help themselves through training and employment opportunities. Aid is also available for women moving from shelters to independent housing: emergency food and clothing as well as annual bursaries for career development. A smooth infusion of new and enthusiastic team management replaced retired members Charlotte and Carole. As WIN Director of Human Resources, Michelle is also looking forward to eventual retirement. “I’ll continue practising my guitar in private until I’m confident enough to play in front of others,” she confides with a smile. “I would like to travel, spending some of the colder winter months in a warmer climate.” In 2000, Michelle bought a trailer she hauls out of storage every April. “I love spending my weekends in my trailer at Island View Beach. It is very healing and soothing, listening to the ocean and [being] warmed by a fire on the beach. Unfortunately, beach fires were banned the last few years because of the safety regulations, so I may sell my trailer.” Today, Cherry, her six-month-old boxer-mixed puppy, keeps her entertained. Michelle survived some difficult years as a single mother who worked hard, raised two well-adjusted sons and helped build a successful non-profit organization. She reflects on how differently her life could have turned out. “I’m grateful to be where I am today,” she says. “As a single mom, I certainly could have been in a different place with less luck and less support.” “My favourite quote is from Oscar Wilde, ‘Life is too important to be taken seriously.’ If laughter isn’t in my house, my workplace or my social setting, then I’ll find it. It’s such an important part of happiness – lightness and laughter.” For more information on WIN, call 250-480-4006 or visit SL

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Your Wealth Can Last For Generations. Wealth... It’s not simply about portfolio holdings and account balances. It’s about your complete life. You should have a wealth management partner who understands that - an advisor who cares about your goals for your family, your business and your future. Manage Your Assets ❖ Protect Your Wealth ❖ Build Your Legacy

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JUNE 2008



When Green Is Not Really Green


oncerns about the environment and climate change recycled material comes from. “Post-consumer” material are on everybody’s mind. And advertisements that comes from previously used business or consumer products, include environmental claims are becoming more such as newspapers, shipping cartons, plastic bottles, glass containers and aluminum cans. “Pre-consumer” material is and more prevalent. Consumers are increasingly choosing brands considered manufacturing waste. For example, an envelope manufaceco-friendly and sustainable. According to one report, three- turer might recycle the clippings left over when envelopes are quarters of the public will switch to a brand associated with cut from paper. These clippings can be made into other paper the environment when price and quality are equal. products. But, how do consumers know the companies they are Vague or general claims may sound environmentally reshopping with are green? sponsible, but offer little information of value. Claims that a Grocery shelves, hardware stores, card shops, and other product or service is “eco-friendly,” “environmentally safe,” retail operations are filled with products and packages an- “environmentally preferable,” or labels that contain environnouncing environmental features mental seals – say, a picture of the that may influence your purchasing globe with the words “Earth Smart” decisions. When it comes to prodaround it – can be misleading. Vague or general claims All products, packaging and servucts and packaging, what do claims may sound environmentally ices have some environmental imlike “environmentally safe,” “recyclable,” “degradable” or “ozone pact, although some may have less responsible, but offer little friendly” mean? than others. These phrases alone do information of value. Here are some tips to help sort not provide the specific informathrough environmental advertising tion you need to compare products, claims: packaging or services on their environmental merits. Look for specific information; determine whether the Look for claims that have substance – the additional inforclaims apply to the product, the packaging or both. mation, which explains why the product is environmentally If a label says “recycled,” check how much of the product friendly or has earned a special seal. or package is recycled. Unless the product or package conTo learn more specific information about green advertising tains 100 per cent recycled materials, the label must say how claims, visit the Competition Bureau’s website (www.compemuch is recycled., and look for the section on their website “Recycled” products are made from items recovered or called Guidelines for Environmental Labelling. separated from the “waste stream” that are melted down or Lastly, check out a company’s reliability report from ground up into raw materials and then used to make new prod- and learn more about our BBB Code of Advertisucts. Or they may be products that are used, rebuilt, recondi- ing, which all BBB Accredited Businesses must follow. SL tioned or remanufactured. If a product is labelled “recycled” because it contains used, rebuilt, reconditioned or remanu- Bryden Gage is the Acting Executive Director of the Better factured parts, the label must say so — unless it’s obvious to Business Bureau of Vancouver Island. If you believe you have the consumer, such as an automobile parts dealer selling used been the target or victim of a scam, please call the Better Busiauto parts. ness Bureau Vancouver Island at 386-6348 in Greater Victoria Increasingly, labels on “recycled” products tell where the or at 1-877-826-4222 elsewhere on the Island, so others can benefit from your experience. E-mail 20




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Though it is the life source of our planet, these days, no one is completely safe from the sun. In Canada, sunlight is strong enough to cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. The risk of skin cancer today is much greater than it was 20 years ago and continues to increase. Because the protective layer of ozone around the earth has become thinner due to the effects of pollution and chemicals, we are exposed to more ultraviolet rays (UV). These rays damage our skin. UV rays can get through clouds, fog, and haze. Water, sand, concrete and especially snow can reflect and even increase the sun’s burning rays. The risk of skin cancer is higher for people who: • have lighter-coloured skin • work, play or exercise in the sun for long periods of time • had several blistering sunburns as a child • take medications that make them more sensitive to UV light Most skin cancers start in the areas exposed most often to the sun – the head, face, neck, hands and arms. Reduce your risk of getting skin cancer – visit our website and take our SunSense quiz and report any skin changes to your doctor. Log onto to learn more, or visit your local Canadian Cancer Society unit.

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STAR POWER From ‘Imiloa to Mauna Kea



s Canadian snowbirds, we often wing our way to the Big Island of Hawaii. Offering much more than long sunny strolls and snorkels with rainbow coloured fish, this paradise also allures and delights inquiring minds. International scientists and inquisitive tourists like us arrive in bustling Kona and soon scamper off to its famed Kilauea Volcano to investigate its gushing lava and evolving landscape. Many stop along the way, enthralled by Hawaii’s biodiversity. Regularly including our own enlightening ventures, this time we seize the opportunity to explore outer space. So, rocketing to the Big Island’s quiet side, we launch a two-stage adventure, which begins at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center and continues atop nearby Mauna Kea. ‘Imiloa’s three lustrous titanium cones rise into Hilo’s deep blue sky. More than space-age aesthetics, a fellow visitor tells us that its silvery roof tiles are practical, resisting corrosive acid rain created from Kilauea’s volcan22


ic gases. The world’s largest and most diverse Hawaiian plant collection surrounds this high-tech structure. These uniquely adapted plants are arranged in the Big Island’s 13 climatic zones; two Polynesian canoe gardens display arrays of native edible and resource plants. ‘Imiloa translates to “pursue profound knowledge” and offers over 100 learning activities. A large globe floats amid a spacious room. “Science On a Sphere” immediately fascinates and educates us about our living Earth. Four computerized projectors animate this model Earth with time-lapse ocean currents, storms and changing climates. Director Grace Chun Hoo informs us, “This powerful teaching aid is one of only 12 existing spheres worldwide.” In the adjacent Planetarium, an advanced video Digistar 3 projects selections of high-resolution features on its full-dome screen. Vivid natural imagery and lyrical island chants introduce us to today’s feature, “Mauna Kea: Between Earth and Sky.” We soon learn the age-

old Hawaiian legend, which explains the Universe’s origin in a fashion similar to current astrophysics. Onward through a replicated koa forest, we encounter the historic sites of Mauna Kea volcano and read about this summit’s sacred link to creation. Next, a magical multimedia presentation chronicles the dawn of life in terms of Hawaiian lore, strikingly like Darwin’s theory of evolution. In a simulated astronomy lab, we join other cosmonauts to explore the solar system and time travel to the beginning of the universe. Astronomers’ tools enable us to detect patterns of starlight and discover amazing details about distant suns. Kiosks featuring stories of Polynesians’ distant voyages surround a one-fifth scaled replica of an ocean outrigger. Discovering how they navigated the Pacific by observing stars, currents, cloud formations and birdlife, we utilize these traditional techniques to test our wayfaring skills. Broadly smiling, Grace urges us on, “You can see our

pride in cleverly linking Hawaiian culture and science.” After a very Hawaiian ono (tasty) ‘Imiloa lunch, we launch into the second stage of our starry search at Arnott’s Lodge, joining a tour up to Mauna Kea’s Observatories. Our chatty driver-guide introduces himself and his culture to the vanload of adventurers. Grinning, Shayne inquires, “Do any of you know how our ukulele got its name? Well, the rapid plink-ety-plink plucking inspired us to call it a ‘Uku-lele’ meaning jumping fleas.” Playing a CD featuring a famed ukulele player, we itch for more. While driving steadily upward, he recounts Hawaiians’ historic interest in stargazing, “As you know, Polynesians navigated great distances based on accurate knowledge of the stars. What you may not realize is that our last King, David Kalakaua, was greatly interested in astronomy. In fact, during his world voyage, he invited astronomers everywhere to our island kingdom to share their science. Maui’s Haleakala became their prime site, yet avid stargazers knew that our Mauna Kea provided a much higher site, above cloud cover in extraordinarily thin, clear air.” After a thoughtful pause, he continues, “Then, in 1960, a tsunami flattened much of Hilo and local leaders considered how astronomy could give a necessary economic boost. They promoted Mauna Kea’s first telescope leading to what you’ll be seeing, the world’s largest collection of observatories, an enterprise generating over 300 million dollars annually.” The Visitor Station at 9,000 feet gives us a chance to acclimatize and change into warmer clothes. Over 105,000 annual visitors stop here as part of the outof-this-world experience. Most check out the many astronomy exhibits and informational film inside; some use this time to search along rocky paths for rare silverswords [plants]. Every evening, powerful telescopes are set up outside for those interested in extraordinary close-ups of night sky treasures. Continuing uphill, signs denote areas


Brenda Ellis Certified Senior Advisor


Embrace the Journey - A Care Giver’s Story

by Valerie Green The very personal story of her own journey as a care giver to her elderly parents. This is a story which will touch many hearts and be relevant for numerous adult children who, in mid-life, are faced with a similar challenge and must make agonizing decisions and choices. It painfully addresses the problems encountered of ‘aging in place’ and the desire for loving couples to stay together in their home until the end of their lives. 96 pages. Softcover. 5.5” x 8.5” Published by Senior Living. Price $14.95

To order, please send cheque for $19.84 ($14.95 plus $3.95 S&H & GST) payable to Senior Living. MAIL TO: Embrace Book Offer c/o Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Please include your clearly written shipping address and phone number. Allow two weeks for shipping.

JUNE 2008


once covered by Ice Age glaciers. The glaciers created highly valued metamorphic basalt. At ‘Imiloa, we’d learned how the ancient Hawaiians trekked here to excavate this “blue stone” for axe blades, knifes, spears and arrows. Shayne tells us that Hawaiian mountains actually talk, asking with a grin, “What did Mauna Loa say to Mauna Kea? Give up? Mauna Loa said, ‘I lava you!’ So what did Mauna Kea reply? Nothing! Mauna Kea is dormant, and extremely cold, so here’s some parkas to keep you warm!” Sometimes, terrifically optimistic people arrive up here in shorts and thin cotton shirts; few are really prepared for the freezing conditions at 13,796 feet where bitterly cold winds howl cruelly across layers of stark brittle snow. In Arctic parkas with thick quilted hoods, we snap photos of the surreal shiny-sleek observatories straight out of Star Wars, waiting for sunset. Many Hawaiians still consider Mauna Kea a sacred mountain, centre of creation and home to Earth Mother, Sky Father and Snow Goddess Poliahu. Several energetic van companions puff up a steep trail to visit Poliahu’s heiau, a large ohiaframed altar crowning the next summit. Deeply breathing crisp thin air, we learn still more about these great silvery domes shimmering atop snowy Mauna Kea. Above 40 per cent of the Earth’s atmosphere and light interference, these billion-dollar domes achieve clear views of 90 per cent of all stars visible from Earth. The world’s largest observatory complex includes immense radio, optical



and infrared telescopes. Astronomers vigorously compete for observation time on these 13 world-class telescopes. A peer review committee selects each winning proposal based on scientific merit. Many concern the prospect of life on other planets. A kaleidoscopic sunset slowly paints the frozen moonscape with golds and reds. As the sky darkens, our van snakes downward, parking at a spot for lofty stargazing. Pointing out familiar constellations, Shayne names them in English and Hawaiian: Scorpio, the big fishhook of Maui; Orion, cat’s cradle of children; the Pleiades, little eyes. In near-perfect winter visibility, we sight with our naked eyes moon-craters, Polaris, Mars and the orange-red Betelgeuse in Orion’s belt. Next, Shayne places sticks and white stones upon the ground, constructing a basic astral map like those once used to plot Polynesian voyages. Applying Hawaiian names to familiar stars, he points to the heavens with a green laser beam, relating his simple map to the winter sky. With our previous training at ‘Imiloa and his new insights, we fantasize steering our way to Tahiti, instead, we sail downward lulled by island flea music through the dark night. Descending back into dimly lit Hilo, we re-enter the University, passing futuristic ‘Imiloa for a final look at modernistic buildings, representing the nine nations who’ve budgeted for 30 years of astrophysics research. Stars have helped our ancestors navigate unknown seas to new worlds and over time, discover the essence of our existence. We can well appreciate humankind’s star-studded journey. These nations’ two-billion-dollar investment makes perfect sense to us. Our SL future lies in the stars. IF YOU GO: For helpful in formation, ch eck out: www.bigislan d.worldweb.c om Near Hilo, P lumeria Hill B&B (www.p offers cozy, h lumeriahill.c osp om) On Banyan D itable stays. rive, Hawaii Naniloa Res (www.nanilo ort and easy acce m) has spectacular ocean ss to old Hilo views . Investigate fu rther Hilo’s new astrono www.imiloah my centre at Arnotts offer s hiking, cycl ing and star-s ventures: ww tudded w.arnottslod


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SENIOR LIVING READERSHIP CLUB APPLICATION FORM FREE membership cards available to Senior Living readers who are at least 55 years of age. Members of the READERSHIP CLUB will enjoy: • Discounts or Special Offers from registered local businesses across Vancouver Island Information provided will be held confidential by Senior Living magazine.

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Please allow 2 weeks for delivery of your card. JUNE 2008



Photo: Jason van der Valk



Dear Goldie: I need your help! Three years ago, I met and fell in love with the most wonderful lady. Although we are both widowed and have reached our 70s, we are in good health and really enjoy active lives. However, I am not able to convince her to marry me. She feels we have each had our marriage and family and should now enjoy our independence as singles without obligations. She is willing to accompany me on social occasions and travel, but insists on her independence. How can I change her mind? –B.L. Dear B.L.: You sound unhappy, but have you examined your situation thoroughly? People find happiness in various ways during each stage of their lives. You have both had marriage and family life, and are now entering a senior stage, where you can enjoy new experiences. You need to give the situation more consideration from an adult perspective. Your friend sounds like a sensible woman who comprehends life with its happiness and uncertainties. Listen to her and realize what she is offering – friendship and companionship – some-



thing many seniors would love to have. Enjoy good times ahead! Dear Goldie: Friendship is important to me, but I am having problems with one of my close friends. After many years of travelling together, she is becoming too dependent on me. We are both widows in our 80s in reasonably good health and have been fortunate to travel extensively. Overall, we have been very happy doing things together. The problem is that we both have arthritis and, on our trips, carrying luggage is difficult. I can manage my own because they are equipped with wheels and “pull-out” handles. My friend has old cases that need to be lifted and carried. Because her arthritis is so troublesome, in the end, I am trying to carry hers and mine. I still want to travel, but I can’t manage everything. Is there any answer to this? –W.A. Dear W.A.: I am a firm believer in bringing problems out in the open and working through them. Do this with your friend. I get the impression she can afford to

upgrade her cases, like you have, so why are you doing all the work? If this isn’t agreeable to her, approach her family. They might even get her a new set as a gift. Have you considered travelling on senior holidays where everything: accommodation, meals, luggage and entertainment are organized for you? It certainly takes the headache out of travel. Even if it means fewer trips, at least you can enjoy them together. There are times in life when we need to accept help. You are putting yourself at risk if you persist in doing the work of two people with your arthritis. Discuss the problem now with your friend. It won’t resolve itself. Call the local travel agencies for information on senior tours today and start planning your next leisure trip! SL SENIOR PEER COUNSELLING CENTRES Victoria (250)382-4331 Duncan (250)748-2133 Nanaimo (250)754-3331 Sidney (250)655-4402 Courtenay/Comox (250)334-9917 Salt Spring Island (250)537-4607 Port Hardy (250)949-5110

Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer.

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Snoring Problem? “S

noring is often a social concern,” says Dr. Roy Cheung, an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon in Victoria. “Not only can snoring create stress between couples, it can also create awkward social situations.” A couple living in an apartment building was forced to move because of loud snoring. The man received numerous formal complaints from other tenants. While extraordinary, situations like this can and do happen. According to the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology, 45 per cent of adults snore occasionally, and 25 per cent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight people, and it usually worsens with age. “Snoring is a problem much more complicated than it seems,” says Cheung. “It is often secondary to multiple factors mainly: excessive weight, excessive soft tissue in the throat, and loss of muscle tone due to aging. The inability to breathe through the nose can also lead to snoring.” Snoring can also be detrimental to one’s health. In the most severe form of sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, the individual is awoken repeatedly throughout the night. This leads to poor sleep quality and excessive daytime fatigue. Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to many problems, including difficulty with learning and memory, poor job performance, depression and even heart disease. “Many people who suffer from sleep apnea are less alert when driving,” says Cheung. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests people with sleep apnea are two to seven times more likely than healthy people to have a traffic accident. What is Snoring? Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these strike each other and vibrate during breathing. 28



Obstructive Sleep Apnea When loud snoring is interrupted by frequent episodes of completely obstructed breathing, it is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Serious episodes last more than 10 seconds and occur more than seven times per hour. Patients who have apnea problems may even experience 300 events per Dr. Roy Cheung night. This can cause the individual’s heart to pump even harder because blood oxygen levels are reduced. The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep his muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he may be sleepy during the day, which impairs performance. After many years with sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure and heart enlargement can occur. How to stop snoring Heavy snorers should seek medical advice to ensure that sleep apnea is not a problem. An ear, nose, throat surgeon will provide a thorough examination. The patient’s sleeping may be studied in a sleep laboratory to determine how serious the snoring is and what effect it has on the health of the individual. Treatment Treatment depends on the diagnosis. An examination will reveal if snoring is caused by: nasal allergy, infection, deformity, or tonsils and adenoids. Self-Help for the Light Snorer Dr. Cheung recommends adults who suffer from mild or occasional snoring should become active to develop good muscle tone and lose weight, and avoid alcohol and the consumption of food for three hours before bedtime. “Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns, and try sleeping on your side rather than your back,” he says. “You can even

tilt the head of your bed upwards four inches.” Talk to your doctor Snoring or obstructive sleep apnea may respond to various treatments now offered by many otolaryngologists – head and neck surgeons, including Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, which tightens flabby tissues in the throat and palate, and expands air passages. Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty refers to procedures and techniques that treat snoring and some of them are used to treat various severities of obstructive sleep apnea. Different types include bipolar cautery, laser, and radiofrequency. Genioglossus and hyoid advancement is a surgical procedure for the treatment of sleep apnea. It prevents collapse of the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward, thereby opening the obstructed airway. If surgery is too risky or unwanted, the patient may sleep every night with a nasal mask that delivers air pressure into the throat; this is called continuous positive airway pressure or “CPAP.” Sleep apnea is serious “It’s integral for people with sleep apnea to get treatment,” says Cheung. “In the long run, sleep apnea can cause serious implications. Your doctor can even suggest other lifestyle changes to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms and risk for SL other diseases.”

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JUNE 2008


Into the Swim BY AL KEITH


riends and colleagues keep telling Fern she looks at least 10 years younger than her 62. Yet, it wasn’t long ago the busy buyer for a major department store considered herself a wreck. She suffered severe emotional stress due to the breakup of her long-time marriage, and was burdened by a heavier-than-usual workload due to cutbacks. Add to that her aversion to every kind of exercise, and small wonder she ended up with a debilitating, painful back disorder, which even painkillers had trouble keeping in check. Finally, Fern consulted an orthopedic specialist who was not eager to resort to surgery. Instead, he prescribed a brief bed-rest, followed by a series of special, yoga-type exercises to be done twice daily. While prescribing a better painkiller, the doctor delivered the clincher: “I also want you to get started on a swim program. Get involved with a good, gradual program at your local pool. If they don’t have qualified instructors, check out another pool. It’ll hurt a bit, but swimming at a slow pace will help firm up your back muscles without putting too much stress on your body.” When the specialist saw Fern’s look of alarm, he added firmly: “Believe me, it’s either that or winding up with spinal surgery. So why not give this a chance!” What the surgeon did not know was that Fern had nearly drowned in a boating accident when she was six. Ever since then, she avoided open water of any kind. Nevertheless, after several additional pain-filled days, sleepless nights and the haunting spectre of “spinal surgery” looming, she decided to “bite the bullet!” She signed up for beginners classes at her neighbourhood pool and took the first step to turn her life around. Under the tutelage of experienced instructors, it took Fern only a couple of weeks before she felt less “threatened” in the

water. A giant milestone in her life came when, eight weeks after her first lesson, she managed to swim her first length of the pool. Teaming up with a couple of friends, she now heads for the pool twice a week. Between that, her yoga exercises and having discovered the joy of regular walks, Fern finds herself more relaxed. And her back rarely misbehaves. As an added bonus, her body has become more supple – and slimmer. Today, fitness gurus agree that swimming is an exercise that benefits not only the back, but gives the whole body a gentle, beneficial “tune-up!” And because swimming has the one vital ingredient that makes it stand out among fitness activities – it’s performed in water – people can do it into their later years. The buoyancy of the water means little jarring of muscles and bones, which translates to less risk of injury. In spite of a countrywide emphasis on exercise and fitness, almost 50 per cent of Canadians remain inactive. A regular, moderate exercise program allows the human body to maintain itself reasonably well – even into our later years – as long as we keep moving! SL

SHALLOW WATER, AQUATIC EXERCISES Even if you cannot swim, or are afraid of deep water, you can still benefit from aquatic workouts, which are held on a regular basis in most community pools. Here are a few of the most popular of these exercises: WATER JOGGING: In waist-deep water, jog in place with exaggerated knee action. Bring alternate arms forward when opposite knee is raised. BOBBING WITH LEGS ASTRIDE: Stand in waist-deep water,

submerge briefly with legs astride, and exhale as you push off the bottom of the pool. Then inhale before sinking back into the water. OUTWARD LEG SWING: Holding onto the pool gutter, raise one foot with leg straight, swing to side, lower and repeat with other leg.

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LEG CROSS: Floating on your back, hold onto gutter and

extend legs. Swing legs apart, then bring them together and cross. Repeat, crossing other leg.

BEND & STRETCH: Lift arms over your head and lace fingers.

Then bend gently to the left (don’t twist) for the count of 10. Repeat on your right side. Do both sides five to 10 times.



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Photo: Beth Hickok


ast year, I bought a dinghy and, with my little spaniel Tilly, rowed 150 nautical miles up and down the coast of Vancouver Island. Broaching the subject of my adventure to friends brought on comments like, “Be careful!” “Watch for storms!” and “How can you, at your age?” Well, I am a seasoned citizen, shall we say, and have al����������������������������������� ways loved the water. I grew up in the fresh water country of ������������������������ Minnesota and spent hours swimming and boating as a kid. Here on this island, I have learned about tide, saltwater and strong currents. So, in July 2007, on a lovely day with a soft breeze, I started my journey from Victoria. My boat is only eight-feet long and fits in the back of my van. Amazing! So, out from the van came the Blue Rover 2 and into the Georgia Strait. My 150-mile row up and down the Island was underway. I would row north, for three or four hours, depending on the

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Mail to: Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

Connie Hickok gives her great nephew Sean a short ride in Blue Rover 2 before she and Tilly (on dock) launch their adventure.

weather. Then row back to the van and settle in for the night at a local campground. The next day, Tilly and I would drive north to the place we had reached the day before. I would launch Blue Rover 2 once again. Brentwood Bay, Mill Bay, Cowichan Bay and Chemainus were destination points. I have always loved the ocean, and wanted to view the shore as we made our way alongside this magnificent island. Starfish and other lovely creatures, like jellyfish as wide as 20 inches, greeted Tilly and me as we peered down into the deep. Friendly seals were always snooping around to see who was in their territory. I could see float planes land, view the fishing boats, cruisers and kayaks as they travelled along beside us. The smell of the ocean in the gentle breeze

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ie Hickok Photo: Conn

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Connie photographed her experience of life on and around the water.

was ever present. The pace of life on the water was decidedly calmer than the bustle of the city. I felt peaceful, relaxed and thoughtful. One morning, I even raced a ferry out of the Nanaimo harbour. Of course, the ferry passed us quickly and I’m sure the Captain didn’t even know he was in a dead heat for a split second. Another day, white caps approached with vigour amid

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the waves. I said, “Tilly, I’m not a white caps girl!” And we headed back to the marina. Even though the sun was out, and it was a warm day, I knew I was not going to battle the waves. No way! During the beautiful summer, we met kindly folks along the way, both at marinas and at local cafés, where I always ordered clam chowder. So, now I know who serves the best chowder on the Island – Deep Bay Café. My darling Blue Rover 2 has a wheel on the back of it, so when I need to get up or down a landing, all I have to do is gently pull the front of the boat and it moves easily along. Other travellers would gaze at me in amazement as I hoisted the boat in and out of the van and the water. Tilly and I anticipated the subtle colours of sunrise, a special time of day. And in the evening, the overwhelming grandeur of the lush, beautiful scenery embraced by the sky,

looked as if it had been painted with a brush. We rowed from Victoria to Sayward and back. Blue Rover 2 was the perfect means of travel for us. After 20 days, we ended our voyage and arrived back home, safe and sound. This sweet and gentle journey was beSL yond belief. And my friends were suitably impressed!

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Photo: Beth Hickok

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Photo: Connie Hickok

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Connie lifting Blue Rover 2 into her van.


Photo: Frances Litman

Courageous s u o e g a r t u O A Belated Note to Mom I am one of the lucky ones – in some ways, I get to be a kid because my mother is still around. At 92, Mom lives in the house where we grew up in North Va n c o u v e r. Recently, we were given a scare when her pulse dropped way down, and no one could figure out the problem. It made me realize that sometimes we take the people we care about for granted. It is easy to be wrapped up with life and forget what means the most to us. When I was born, my mom was a young, naïve 24 year old. I was

her first child, her husband worked in Wells, B.C. and she was alone in Vancouver except for her sister. Like everything else I do in my life, I entered feet first! And while it serves me well now, it certainly isn’t the way most mothers would choose to deliver their first child. My siblings are lucky Mom agreed to have more children after me. She shed tears of sorrow when her first-born son, a blue baby, died at seven months. Then tears of joy with two more sons and another daughter. Throughout the ’40s and ’50s, as a stay-at-home mom, she was always there to braid hair in the morning, make a favourite flavour of birthday cake from scratch and love us equally. She and my father both had a passion for books, which translated to all of us being able to read before we went to school. Did we appreciate her efforts? At the time, probably not. When I look


back and realize all she did for us, all that went unacknowledged, I am ashamed. I realize now what she sacrificed of her own life for us. Through my mom, I was given an amazing group of relatives who sadly are all gone. She was the baby in a family of 11 and is the only child remaining. I owe my energy and my great unlined skin to the genes she gave me. And there is a whole lot more I owe her too. So, as I don’t say it often enough, SL Mom, Thank you. I love you.

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BYGONE Treasures A Look At Your Library


other had a passion for reading all her life, and one of her greatest gifts to me was a love of books. My early years were spent in an old stone farmhouse on the coast of Wales, with no lights, no running water and a biffy in a shed up the hill. Our entertainment came from a battery radio, the odd newspaper and a small hoard of much loved books, which joined us in our new life in Canada. As we know, small hoards can grow to become substantial libraries or, eventually, “that pile of books we don’t know what to do with.” Is there a chance you have books worth money? Absolutely! Is there a chance you have books worth absolutely nothing? Undeniably! Once you’ve decided some of your library has to go, set aside a full day to work through the shelves. Do not start your Saturdays by going to garage sales and buying more books. Free up a space and build four piles: keep, sell, donate and recycle. The “keep” pile should contain books with which you feel a strong personal attachment and ones you’ve enjoyed in the past and will read again. The “sell” pile can include clean, recent paperback fiction, older western Canadiana, and useful non-fiction such as volumes on fly-fishing, mountaineering, military history and early cookbooks. Headed for the “donate” pile are coffee table books, general travel guides and biographies of politicians you didn’t like and never voted for. Into the “recycle” pile go almost anything published by Reader’s Digest or National Geographic, volumes that say “book club edition” on them, and books that are damaged or dirty. Please don’t take this stuff to a

thrift shop as its not saleable and winds up in a dumpster. If you have hardcover fiction published over the past 20 or 30 years, you may be surprised to learn that the first edition of the first book by many authors is quite valuable. A few examples: Tom Clancy’s Hunt For Red October ($3,500), Stephen King’s Carrie ($5,000), and Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove ($900). These are retail prices for copies in undamaged dust jackets and in top condition. Generally, booksellers will pay one-third of their selling price for books they need, but more for scarce books they can resell easily. Vancouver Island is blessed with countless bookshops and many shop owners will make house calls to see what you have. Among your treasures from decades ago may be children’s books. In some cases, original content has changed in line with social values (e.g. Little Black Sambo) and early editions can be worth over $100. Remember “Big Little Books”? These were chunky and square, printed on poor quality paper, filled with tales of “derring-do” and featured heroes like Tailspin Tommy and Chester Gump, to be read by flashlight under the bedcovers. Big Little Books in decent condition go for $20 apiece and up in collectors’ markets today. If a neighbour is having a garage sale, invite yourself along, price all your paperbacks at a $1 each, and (once you’ve read my bit about first editions), your hardcovers at $2. There is a serious risk in this process. Do not sit down and sort through the books your neighbour has put out for sale. This may result in you spending all your earnings and staggering home with a larger pile than the one you carried over.


I should insert a few words on the care and feeding of those books you intend to keep. Books are made to be stored upright, never stacked flat in piles. Don’t remove a book from a shelf by grabbing it at the top, but rather by gripping it with thumb and forefinger a few inches down the spine. When reading a book, use a bookmark. Vast numbers of books are damaged by dog-earing pages to mark a place, laying them face down on tables or by standing a beverage of choice on an open page. If you’re giving a book as a gift, resist the urge to clip the price off the corner of the dust jacket. Folks are aware of book costs and, as we no longer live in Edwardian times, no one takes offense at seeing a price. Two thirds of the resale value of a modern hardcover lies in the condition of the dust jacket. I’m not a fan of stick-in bookplates, unless you’re someone famous like Churchill or Elvis (if you are Elvis, people looking for you), then a bookplate renders a volume “ex libris” and less desirable to a collector. Be warned: a full day of cleaning out your library can turn into a weekend or even a week-long project. Because if you’re like most of us, after pulling a dozen books off the shelf, you’ll find one you forgot you owned, make yourself a cup of tea and curl up with the cat for a good read. Next time: Old Photos – Who Are These People? Send comments and suggestions for future articles to Michael Rice Box 86 Saanichton, BC V8M 2C3, or email me at JUNE 2008


Crossword PUZZLE


Across 1. Brief passing look 6. Indian leader 10. Killer whales 12. Hazard 14. Animal that catches mice 16. Sphygmus 17. Incline head 20. Expensive 22. Small secluded valley 23. Stains 25. Passion 27. Transgression 28. Skin 29. Smelt 31. Blues 34. Having three foci 36. Donates 38. Bowel treatment 39. One who gets ready

41. Grains for grinding 44. Prepared for publication 46. The lowest tide 47. Chafe 50. Consumes (4,2) 52. Respiratory organ of fish 53. Rounded lump 55. Communication 57. New (prefix) 58. The paperwork 59. Commando 61. Southeast by east 62. Lotto 63. Read again 64. Adagio

Down 1. Father’s father 2. Mother

3. Support 4. Dandruff 5. Simpler 7. Medicine 8. Small mountains 9. Japanese immigrant 11. Concealed 13. Shelter for a dog 15. Night rider 18. Hear! 19. Flood 21. Harnessing 24. Band of color 26. Allude 30. Hemispherical roofing 32. Elude 33. Story in instalments 35. Milk protein used in adhesives 37. Dog 39. Fur coats 40. Puncture again 42. Story 43. Water sound 45. Taxes 48. Below 49. Ice cream (Fr) 51. Foot-operated lever 54. Coffin stand 56. City in W Nevada 60. Rank




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WANTED: OLD POSTCARDS, stamp accumulations, and pre-1950 stamped envelopes. Also buying old coins, medals and badges. Please call Michael 652-9412 or email HAIRSTYLIST has a private and comfortable studio in her Sidney home. Christine offers a full, professional service. Special senior rates. Please call 8224247.

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Dream Realized

he Canadian Navy career of Ed Falstrem began in 1954 when he was selected to attend HMCS Venture in Esquimalt, B.C. under the newly created “Venture Plan,” designed to recruit naval officers in order to overcome the shortage of naval aviators and seaman officers. “I was one of 164 cadets who started their training under this program. Two years later, I was among 91 who successfully graduated,” he says. “I then went on to HMCS Stadacona in Halifax for further training.” Ed remembers well the thrilling experience of going to sea for cadet training to Europe, the British Isles, Hawaii and Japan during his two years at Venture. “Even in high school, it had been my wish to be a submariner. The opportunity came in 1958 when I had completed a year aboard the destroyer HMCS Crusader and was awarded the Watchkeeping Certificate, an essential qualification for seaman officers. I volunteered to join the submarine service.” “Since Canada did not own any of her submarines yet, many Canadian sailors were being sent to train and work in the Royal Navy Submarine Service in the U.K.” Upon completion of his basic submarine training, Ed went on to spend eight of the next 10 years serving in several submarines in the Royal Navy. It was during this time that Ed met and married his wife, Jennifer, in 1960. Ed recounts exciting times during his stint in the navy. “On the lighter side, while in Gibraltar, the submarine on which I was serving was tasked to work with the crew of a James Bond movie called You Only Live Twice.”




Today, retired Lt.-Cmdr Ed Falstrem stays connected to the military through his hobby and business of imprinting naval and military badges and insignia onto a variety of products.

The crew worked for three days on what became the final scene of the movie where James Bond and his sweetheart he had rescued are sitting in a raft. The submarine surfaces beneath them and the raft lands on top of it. “We didn’t have [Sean Connery] or the young woman, we had to provide those.” Many women who were members of the Royal Navy staffed Gibraltar. So, the invitation went out for any female who could be spared for a day, who could also fit in the bikini that had been worn by the actress in the film. “We got the first one – she was gorgeous, really a lovely girl. And then we got our engineering officer who was young and handsome, they were to be the parts of James Bond and the girl in the raft.” It was Ed’s job as the trimming officer to work with the diving officer to submerge the submarine and make sure it was trimmed and balanced. The crew had to practise how to surface the submarine without washing the raft away. “So we had to figure out how we could get the raft to stay on the casing. The only thing we could think of was to dive the submarine point astern, which was quite unusual. So, we had the raft on the casing with the two sitting in it, and submerged the submarine underneath, going backward. And then, of course, they reversed the film in the movie. It took us several hours each day to end up in a scene a few seconds long when the movie was finally finished.” When they returned home from the Mediterannean four months later, the movie was completed, and all the officers were invited by the producer to preview the movie. On the more serious side of excitement, there was the Six-Day War. “We had been touring the Mediterranean and had gone to Naples and ports in Tunisia, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Cy-

press, and went on to Haifa. When we were there, just after my 30th birthday in 1967, the build-up to the Six-Day War was happening. You could see it happening.” On one occasion, the Israeli Navy submariners invited the officers to a cocktail party. They were going to be picked up on the submarine and taken to the hotel. But the officers didn’t come. Instead, their wives came and said that their husbands had to go away

Ed Falstrem in uniform, 1962.

for a little bit. It turned out they had been dispatched to do a landing task on the Egyptian shore. Pursuing his career, Ed continued to serve on several Royal Navy submarines. Upon completion of the Submarine Commanding Officers Course in the U.K., he and his family moved to Esquimalt, where Ed took command of HMCS Rainbow, a submarine with a crew of 75 officers and men. “During the time I was in command of HMCS Rainbow in Esquimalt a Soviet intelligence gathering fishing trawler had anchored itself off the West Coast of the Queen Charlottes. A surface ship had been tasked to go and keep an eye

on it but they had run out of surface ships, so I was told to go up there. We went and remained submerged for the first two days. I don’t think they even knew we were there until we finally surfaced right beside them. For about a week, we’d go in and anchor east of them close to the shore and stay overnight wandering around to make sure they knew we were there.” The highlight of Ed’s career was being the Commanding Officer of four submarines. He calls the camaraderie among the men one of his most cherished experiences. In 1992, Lieutenant Commander Ed Falstrem retired after 30 years in the Canadian Navy. He and Jennifer moved to Campbell River in 2004. His hobby/business is the imprinting of naval and military badges and insignia onto a variety of products. This keeps him connected with the Canadian military including museums, active Canadian Forces units and people interested in SL military memorablia.

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JUNE 2008


Downtown Landmark turns 100 W BY PAT NICHOL

ith 80 saloons, Victoria was a jumping town. The building boom was on and travellers needed a place to stay. Down the street from where the Empress Hotel was being built, was the Criterion, a smaller hotel that has been part of the Victoria scene for 100 years. The early Scottish managers changed the name to Glenshiel after the famous Scottish Glenshiel estate owned by the Earls of Seaforth and site of the 1719 battle of Glenshiel. Considered the best place to stay in Victoria during the 1930s, people re-

Glenshiel’s red-haired ladies.



tired to the Glenshiel where single rooms were only $1.50 and doubles $2.50 – it was also a residential hotel. It later became a retirement home for seniors. One of the early residents, Priscilla, was delighted that Dr. Helmcken lived just around the corner on Government and Elliot Streets. Interestingly, Helmcken’s house, which hasn’t moved since it was built, now appears to be in the middle of a park. The street disappeared. Priscilla knows a great deal about the city – she delights in sharing her knowledge. Only women worked at the hotel – and only those with red hair. One of the early residents recalls seeing the group of the young redheaded ladies coming to work together. “It was enough to make my heart flutter, they were a joyous sight.” Remember when a martini was $1 and a glass of wine was .52 cents? Those who dined at the Thistle Room in the Glenshiel would. At the time, it

was the place to dine out and, if you were getting married, this was where receptions were held. Honeymooners, like Ken and Peggy in the ’60s, were sent home with a lovely thistle cup and saucer. Recently, Peggy returned to Victoria and presented the cup to Marilyn, the current Glenshiel manager. Over the years, changes and additions were made to the Glenshiel in the middle of downtown Victoria but, for the most part, it remained a quiet residential hotel for seniors until March 1980. At that time, the provincial government announced the building would be torn down and the residents relocated. The 60 residents were prepared to battle the government. They spent the weekend painting signs and placards and sewing torn bedsheets together to tell the government how they felt about being evicted from their home – banners and placards covered nearly every square inch of the building. “They’ll have to carry me out,” said Miss Stuart, “I’m not leaving until I’m dead.” Allison McNeil, 102, had been a First World War nurse, risking her life on the front lines. The only way the government was going to get her out, she said, was by force. The fight was successful. The Glenshiel remains open today and, in May, celebrated its 100th anniversary. Resident Con Burns’ mother lived there for years and, when he retired, he decided to move in as well. For Joyce Levy, who loves to walk, having access

to the park is a bonus. Some of the residents bring their talents with them, such as Clive Gwynne, who has been there 10 years. Clive was a newspaper man who, as media changed, moved along with it, going first to radio and then to Channel 8. His paintings hang on the walls of the Glenshiel. Operated by The Glenshiel Non-Profit Housing Society, the staff still call it a hotel, and it has the sense and feel of the ghosts from past glory days. One resident said, when he walked through the door the first time, “You could feel the SL love embracing you.”

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Glenshiel residents gather for a tongue-incheek fashion show.


�������������������������� ���������������� NEW EDITION JANUARY 2008 VANCOUVER ISLAND

Housing Guide for Seniors Up-to-date listings of senior housing facilities throughout Vancouver Island, including Independent/Supportive Living, Assisted Living and Complex Care. This guide is an indispensable resource to:

• seniors looking for alternative housing • seniors moving to Vancouver Island from other parts of BC or out of province • children of seniors who are assisting their parent to select a housing option • professionals who work with seniors or their families • businesses that provide services to seniors.

Listings include addresses and contact information, housing costs, number of units in the housing complex, hospitality services, optional home care services, amenities and security features. Available at most libraries and senior centres. Call (250)479-4705 for a location near you. View Online at:

OR have a copy mailed direct to your home...

Senior Lifestyles can be ordered direct from our office. Please mail a cheque for $5.25 ($5 plus GST), along with your name, phone number and address, to Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1. We will mail you a copy of this resourceful housing guide upon receipt of payment. JUNE 2008





Features exhibits, food, children’s events, bake and book sale, entertainment and free prize draws! Donation of non-perishable food item for Food Bank. Courtenay and District Fish and Game, Comox Lake. June 7: 9am–5pm. June 8: 9am–4pm. 338-8506 or


Bring the grandkids to fish in the stocked trout pond this Father’s Day weekend. Gear may be provided and volunteer members on hand to help. Courtenay and District Fish and Games, Comox Lake. 338-0091 or


Musical Fundraiser to help the starving, hosted by Nanaimo Unity Church. 7pm–10pm at Dover Bay Secondary School, 6135 McGirr Rd, Nanaimo. Musical talents include Diana Halter, You’re Loved with Janet and Narayan Baltzo and Fabrizio Alberico. Donations can be mailed to 100 Wallace St., Suite 3, Nanaimo,V9R 5B1. More info: or 250-716-8912.


Nanaimo Theatre Group presents an evening of One Act Plays. 8pm – June 11–14, matinee at 2pm on June 15. At the Bailey Studio, 2373 Rosstown Rd. Tix: $13. 758-7224.


The sounds of music return to Bamfield as the Music by the Sea International Music Festival & School returns for its third season. Concert tickets are between $55 and $80. Festival passes, and packages inclusive of air transportation and accommodation also available. or 250-888-7772.

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




Guided Nature Walks at Morrell Nature Sanctuary; 787 Nanaimo Lakes Road. Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm–8:30pm. www.morrell. or 250-753-5811.


Subscriptions are now available to TheatreOne’s Fringe Flicks, the popular series of award-winning, independent films from around the world. Season begins on Oct 3. Subscribers get 12 films for the early-bird price of $101, including a $5 member fee. Regular price, $107, in effect after Jul 30. Priority advance seating, and member rate for Mainstage productions at Port Theatre. Fringe Flicks are screened at a new location – Avalon Cinemas at Woodgrove. Subscriptions available by calling 754-7587 or e-mailing


Paintings by Sandra Ritter: watercolours, oils and acrylics reflect Sandra’s love of the BC coast. Many of her paintings are inspired by ancient European passageways, incorporating acrylic metallics, oils and gold leaf. Weekdays: 9–4 Sundays: 12:30pm–3:30pm. The Goward House Society, 2495 Arbutus Rd. 477-4401


Handbuilding, wheel-thrown works and sculpture. Wheelchair accessible, refreshments provided! 10am–4pm at St. Michaels Church, 4733 West Saanich Rd, Victoria. 715-1403.


During the 1940s, thousands of war brides from foreign countries travelled overseas to join their servicemen husbands. The Royal BC Museum presents an exhibition honouring these women’s stories. Created by Calgary artist Bev Tosh, this collection includes 80 contemporary paintings; more than 800 photographs; and a series of multiple media installations. 1-888-447-7977 or




Victoria Accordion Club is sponsoring its 2nd accordion festival! Enjoy international and local guest performers, open stage, concerts, dances, workshops, great food. At Victoria Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagara St, Victoria (James Bay). 383-8877.


Jun 8: Featuring the new Concertmaster of the Victoria Symphony and his wife along with favourite local musicians. Jun 15: An exciting string and wind concert. Jun 21: A concert by one of the greatest chamber ensembles in the world: the Tokyo String Quartet. Jun 29: The Golden Trio will perform a newly composed Trio by Victoria Symphony’s principal violist. All concerts held at the First Unitarian Church, 5575 West Saanich Rd. at 2:30pm. Tix: 413-3134


10th Annual Benefit for Kapasseni, Mozambique. The Alix Goolden Performance Hall presents The Gettin’ Higher Choir with special guest Susan Osborn. 7:30pm. Tickets $20/$15, at Munro’s, James Bay Coffee & Books, and Ivy’s Books. 907 Pandora Ave, Victoria. 9958731 or


Café Philosophy is civil discourse, community mind, and a shared thinking experience. Jun 4: Religion & Spirituality. Jun 11: Moral & Legal. Jun 18: Freedom & Necessity. Jun 25: Essence & Existence. Jul 2: Time & Space. Wednesdays 7:30pm–9:15pm; the Solstice Café, 529 Pandora Ave, Victoria. $5 + 1 menu item (drink, food or beans to go). 385-2233 or


The event kicks off with the Tea Party Parade and a Mad Hatters fun run. Musical entertainment and a midway run throughout the weekend. Special events on Sunday include an air show with sky divers, military aircraft, aerobatic aircraft and a sea rescue demonstration. Wil-

EXCITEMENT YOU CAN BET ON! 1708 Island Highway · Victoria · BC 391.0311 ·



SeniorLiving_V3.indd 1

18/02/08 1:43:42 PM



lows Beach, Victoria.


St. Martins invites you to come and enjoy small tea sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, tea or coffee for $5 each. From 2pm–4pm at 550 Obed Avenue, near Gorge and Tillicum. Nancy Veldhuis 388-9457.


Jun 7: Harbour Dance Centre invites you to celebrate the love of dance in a performance featuring ballet, modern, point, lyrical, tap, jazz, hip-hop and special guest performers. 2pm & 7pm. Jun 14: Tempo Dance School is celebrating 15 years in the Community. 1pm & 7pm. Jun 15: Brigadoon Dance Academy brings you the “Pride of Scotland.” 6pm. Tix: $15. The Port Theatre, 125 Front St. Nanaimo. 250-754-8550.


Join the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society at the Waterwheel Park in Chemainus for a morning of fun and dance! By donation. 10:30am–11am. If rain, at Chemainus Seniors Centre, Willow & Alder St. 250-246-9102 or





Local première of award-winning documentary about a courageous South African woman who opens a shelter for AIDS orphans. First Methodist United Church, Quadra/Balmoral, 7pm. $10 at Munro’s or at the door. All proceeds to the Stephen Lewis African Grandmothers campaign. 381-0203.


Enjoy the final production in St. Luke’s Players 60th season – a wonderful mystery by Agatha Christie. In this well-loved play, a nursery rhyme tells how each of the 10 meet their death – until there were none. 8pm – Jun 4–6 & Jun 11–14. 2pm – Jun 7. Tix: $10 available at the door or in advance at Ivy’s Bookstore in Oak Bay, Petals Plus at Shelbourne Plaza or by phone at 884-5484. St. Luke’s Church Hall on the corner of Cedar Hill and Cedar Hill Crossroad. www.


through 86 communities around BC in support of the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The Big Bike will be in Sidney on Jun 2, Victoria on Jun 3–5, and Langford on Jun 6. Come participate in all the fun! 382-4035


Every Thursday night, over 150 vendors sell gifts, fresh produce, hand-made crafts, great food and much more! Beacon Ave, between 1st and 5th. Parking on side streets and public lots, and in municipal lots after 5 pm. 655-6433.


More than 40 traditionally rigged sailing vessels and crews from around the world will gather in Victoria to celebrate maritime history and the sea-faring life. Ship tours, concerts, craft market, theatrical productions, boat building, daily sunset ceremony. Ticket info: 1-800-663-3883 or



The St. Luke’s Players are looking for 6 women and 3 men, ages 20s to 60s for their production, The Heiress. Auditions: Fri, 7:30-10 pm and Sat, 3-5 pm. St. Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd. Info 884-5484 or



Visit your neighbourhood Amica Retirement Community and satisfy your curiosity and your taste buds! Join us anytime during this complimentary day that revolves around the enjoyment of food, presentation, preparation and the company of friends! 10am–6:30pm. To find a location near you, visit

The Heart & Stroke Big Bike is travelling

All (type 1 & type 2) diabetics welcome for group self-help discussion on topics of interest, and guest speakers in an understanding, caring and positive atmosphere. 1pm–3pm in the boardroom at Van City Savings Credit Union, Saanich Branch; 890 Short St. Call Sharyn at 652-6456.


Guest speaker is pharmacist Sonia Lallie – bring your questions. Meet at 7pm at the James Bay New Horizons Seniors Centre, 234 Menzies. Suggested drop-in fee $2. 479-2212.


Helen Collicutt and designers present: Contemporary Design, “June is Busting Out All Over.” New members and visitors welcome. 7:30pm at the Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Rd, Saanich. 652-9334.


Join CARP Victoria Chapter as we learn how to prepare for community, environmental and personal emergencies with Victoria Emergency Preparedness Agency. Information on Block Watch programmes. Learn from the experts at this timely and interactive workshop. Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas St, (at McKenzie). 1:30pm–3:30pm. Members and guests always welcome. Susan Sowden 384-7723.






es MacNeill’s book, Red Tomatoes is a story of hope and survival. On December 11, 2001 in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, a local man pretending to be a guide viciously attacked Les and his wife Marcia Stromsmoe. Marcia had a concussion, a hairline fracture of the skull and bruises to her face. Les suffered eight skull fractures, severe brain injury and the loss of one eye. According to the attending physician, if Les had been less fit, he would have died. Flash forward six and a half years to Victoria; looking fit and relaxed, Les plays a blues rendition of “Moon River” on his saxophone. Les’s love affair with adventure and boats began at the age of seven when he “borrowed” a dinghy to row out to sea. Smiling broadly, Les recalls that in Nova Scotia, “growing up by the water, it was natural to be in a boat.” Moving from the East Coast to Victoria, he worked as a respiratory technologist, but every spare moment was spent exploring the West Coast waters. “In 1986, I sailed around Vancouver Island and stopped at Haida Gwai,” says Les. “I fell in love with the area and returned a few years later. The more I sailed and discovered interesting places, the more I wanted to sail farther.” Taking early retirement in 1995, Les began readying Rio Nimpkish, his 39-foot sailboat, specifically designed for ocean sailing. His plan was to sail south to Mexico, then west through the South Pacific and eventually to Asia and Europe. But first he would do a trial run to Alaska to see the magnificent Alaskan glaciers and to test Rio Nimpkish’s capabilities along these waters. Les vividly recalls, “Alaska was such an incredible trip. My friend and I found it wasn’t only the weather we had to watch, but also the currents, which can be very worrisome and dangerous.” He and Marcia began preparations for their longer trip to Mexico and through the South Pacific islands. “Marcia and I were both retired, so we had all the time we wanted,” says Les. “Marcia loves to travel and has a keen sense of adventure too. What better way to start than by sailing across the Pacific?” For five and a half years, Les and Marcia followed their dream of sailing to Mexico and through the South Pacific visiting the islands of French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, New Zealand and finally Cairns, Australia. Carefully considering the seasons and political unrest, they decided to sail to Papua New Guinea, returning home north through the 46 46


Western Pacific to Japan, the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and finally south to Victoria in time for Christmas. Their vicious beating by a man wielding a hockey stick in Papua New Guinea ended their idyllic trip. “When I woke up in the Rabaul hospital,” recalls Les, “I didn’t know who I was but something told me I was a runner – I could run. And the first thing I promised myself was, ‘I will run again,’ even though my speech was garbled and I had to relearn how to walk.” Eventually, Les was flown to Victoria General and, later, extensive rehabilitation at Gorge Road Hospital to relearn speech, reading and all the normal day-to-day activities taken for granted. His epiphany came when a supermarket’s colourful display of fruits and vegetables made him realize he had never really seen colours and textures the way he was seeing them that day. The lush redness of the tomatoes made him realize what he had lost and appreciate what he had now. From that moment, he was determined to do his best at whatever he could. “I always enjoyed writing and, when I travelled, I would write a daily entry in my logbooks,” says Les. “Sometime after I woke up from my coma, I started writing things down, but when I looked at it, I didn’t know what I had written as I couldn’t read it. I asked Marcia, ‘What have I written?’ and when she read it back, it was all perfectly formed sentences. Apparently, this was part of the aphasia I had as a result of the

brain injuries.” Pausing, Les continues, “This is why I wrote Red Tomatoes. I wanted to give hope to other brain injured people that you can survive. I wrote it by hand because I have no difficulty writing my thoughts but, occasionally, I have difficulty speaking and reading.” In 2002, Les walked the entire route of the Times-Colonist 10K. Slowly, he started running again. He competed in the August 2006 BC Seniors Game winning two gold and four silver medals for his category. No longer able to sail, Les took up kayaking. And he enjoys playing the blues on his cherished saxophone. “I like the blues because you can play your own thing. I close my eyes and play how I feel.” Les has travelled a long way since his fateful attack. “I have no regrets. I have learned a lot of things about myself and have become a better person,” he says. “I’ve learned there’s a reason for everything. I never expected to be writing books, but people have liked Red Tomatoes. I am working on a second one about our travels.” “If you really want to follow your dream, don’t be afraid, be strong, don’t give up and do it well. Otherwise, you will SL always regret not trying.” Meet Les MacNeill at the James Bay Coffee and Book Shop, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. Red Tomatoes can be purchased at Russell Books, FrontRunners, Ivy’s Bookshop, Munro’s Books, Tanner’s Books, the gift shops at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospitals.

Come in with your

Senior Living

Readership Club Card








atin www.senio RD it SENIO only at Particip ses, vis t of For lis

Valid ting busines ipa


SAVE 10%


Relax and enjoy a cup of our hot chocolate or coffee and a free newspaper while you wait. No appointment necessary. We are located in Country Club Centre, next to Future Shop. #130-3200 North Island Hwy, Nanaimo.

Visit Senior Living’s Online Bookstore Books by Senior Authors and on Topics of Interest to Seniors

Nude On A Fence


by Valerie Green The very personal story of her own journey as a care giver to her elderly parents. This is a story which will touch many hearts and be relevant for numerous adult children who, in mid-life, are faced with a similar challenge and must make agonizing decisions and choices. It painfully addresses the problems encountered of ‘aging in place’ and the desire for loving couples to stay together in their home until the end of their lives. 96 pages. Softcover. 5.5” x 8.5” Published by Senior Living magazine, div. of Stratis Publishing Ltd. Price $14.95 To arrange a book signing or interview, contact Valerie Green at (250) 477-7438 or email

To Move Or Not To Move?

A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options $9.95

Reflections, Rejections And Other Breakfast Foods by Gipp Forster $14.95

My Patchwork Life by Patricia O’Connor $14.95

Gipp Forster’s Collected Ramblings by Gipp Forster $10.00

The Search For Jacqueline

by Patricia O’Connor $23.95

by Eliza Hemingway $17.95

The Spoils Of Angel’s War by Dave Sheed $20.00

Nature’s Bounty: Why Certain Foods Are So Good For You & Nature’s Bounty: More About Foods For A Longer And Healthier Life by Dr. Bala Naidoo $21.95 each

Purchase these items online at 47 JUNE 2008

GST and Shipping Costs will apply. Please allow 2 weeks for delivery





o sooner, had I reached the stellar moment of mastering the ballpoint pen and ready to move on to the manual typewriter and (dare I say it?) eventually the electric typewriter, I find out all but the ballpoint pen is nearing obsolescence. I have no desire to know how a computer works. No yearning to learn how to operate a computer and no raging aspiration to keep up with the 21st century. I really don’t like computers. I see them as artificial brains. Most assuredly, they are a giant step forward in technology and ingenuity. But it seems to me, as rewarding as they may be, there is a detriment to consider as well. It’s a hunting field for pedophiles and degenerates. For theft and invasion of privacy. No, I don’t care for computers; at least not to operate one. I guess that’s a sure sign of getting old, although plenty of older people know how to work them. I see children as well as adults walking around with cellphones. In fact, nearly everywhere you look, it seems everyone is talking on the phone – driving cars, in the supermarket, at meetings. I’ve even seen a person panhandling for loose change pause in his

venture into entrepreneurship to answer his cellphone. We talk of the Internet, being online, receiving faxes and email, using pagers and the list goes on and on. I still marvel at the microwave oven and automatic transmissions and copy machines! To me, the computer is a terrorist. At least it fills me with terror! You can fill it up with stuff you dearly want to keep and then something they call a virus shows up and can erase everything you spent hours putting in. I never dreamed the day would come when I would grow from literate to illiterate. My grandkids can zip in and out of the computer like it was child’s play (no pun intended). They shake their heads sadly at their befuddled old computer-illiterate grandfather and sigh at my ignorance. It doesn’t faze me. I bet they don’t know how to handle a ballpoint pen well either. Not long ago, I faced off with what I guessed to be a teenager. I was trying to order a pizza over a landline phone – the conversation went something like this: Me: Do you have a two-for-one pizza? Girl: I’m sorry. Our computers are down.

Reflections, Rejections, “Reflections” MAIL-IN ORDER FORM and Other Breakfast Foods Name_____________________________________ by Gipp Forster A collection of Gipp’s humorous and nostalgic columns. A wonderful read for Reflections, ���������� yourself, and and Other Breakfast Foods a thoughtful gift for friends and family members. Limited Edition

128 pages

Price: $14.95 48



A Collection of Published & Unpublished Writings by Senior Living Columnist Gipp Forster

Address___________________________________ City______________________________ Prov ____ Postal Code____________ Ph _________________

Make cheque ____ BOOKS @ $14.95 each = $_________ payable to SHIPPING ($3.95 PER BOOK) = $_________ Senior Living SUBTOTAL = $_________ MAIL TO: GST (5% on SUBTOTAL) = $_________ Reflections Book Offer 153, 1581-H HillTOTAL = $_________ side Ave., Victoria Please allow two weeks for shipping. BC V8T 2C1

Photo: Krystle Wiseman


Me: Can you tell me then, how much is a two-topping pizza? Girl: I’m sorry. I can’t tell you that. Our computers are down. Me: Now, let me get this straight. You don’t know if you have two-for-one pizzas and you don’t know how much a two-topping pizza is? Girl: I am sorry, sir, but as I have already told you, our computers are down. Me: Do you have a menu for people who come in off the street to buy a pizza? Girl: Yes. Me: Do you have one of those menus close at hand? Girl: Yes. Me: Then could you please tell me how much a two-topping pizza costs? Girl: Sir! I’ve told you over and over again, our computers are down. Me: And you don’t have two-for-one pizzas? Girl: (in a whisper) If you buy one pizza, you can get the second for half price. Me: So how much would just one be then? I know, I know, your computers are down! Girl: (Sigh!) Me: Are your ovens working and can I order? Girl: Yes. Me: Can you deliver? Girl: Yes. Me: Okay. I’ll have two medium pizzas with sausage and pepperoni. Girl: Will that be all? Me: Yes. Girl: And what is your address? Me: I’m sorry. I can’t tell you that. Our computers are down! Then I hung up! I hate computers! SL

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June 2008 Senior Living Magazine Island Edition  

50+ Active LIfestyle Magazine for Vancouver Island BC Canada

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