On Monday October 2nd, officials from the Township of Langley raised a flag marking the International Day of Older Persons. On hand for the ceremony was Mayor Jack Froese along with Sylvia Anderson, Co-Chair of the Langley Seniors Community Action Table (LSCAT). Also present from the Township were Counsellor Angie Quaale, Counsellor Petrina Arnason, and Counsellor Blair Whitmarsh. On hand as well was CARP representative Steve Trummler, Langley Care Foundation/Langley Lodge Director of Fundraising, Patrick Matiouski and other local seniors.
2017 marks the 27th anniversary of The International Day of Older Persons. On December 14th, 1990 the day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize that older persons are an enormous asset to society and make a significant contribution to global development. In Canada, the event is organized and endorsed by the collaboration of over 84 seniors groups who comprise a united force called ‘Seniors Voice’. Key leaders for this endeavour are the National Pensioners Federation, the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada, Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), the National Association of Federal Retirees, the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers and the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of British Columbia.
This year’s theme is ‘Stepping into the Future; Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society’. In his remarks Mayor Jack Froese elaborated on the value of the older person in society. “With their knowledge, life experience, and wisdom, older people play a vital role in our community,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “Not only have their hard work, values, and vision helped make this the wonderful community it is today, seniors continue to make valuable contributions every day to the workforce, their families, and through volunteering. The Township of Langley, which has been designated an Age-friendly Community, is pleased to pay tribute to our seniors and celebrate the International Day of the Older Person”, he said.
Sylvia Anderson, Co-chair of LSCAT in her remarks said. “As community advocates for seniors, LSCAT is happy to be part of the 27th Anniversary of the International Day of the Older Person.” She went on to explain the role LSCAT plays in the community. “LSCAT exists to ensure that seniors are heard, their concerns taken care of but most important (through LSCAT) they have a voice in finding solutions tailored to them,” she concluded.
The issue of Ageism or the prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a person’s age, became an international priority in 2014. At that time, governments from around the world adopted a resolution at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations that recognized ageism as the ‘common source of the justification of and the driving force behind age discrimination. This discrimination shapes how older persons are treated and perceived by their societies including in the medical setting as well as in the workforce. The United Way’s website states that “the failure to tackle ageism undermines the older persons’ rights and hinders their contribution to social, economic, cultural and political life.”
This year is the 4th year the International Day of Older Persons has been marked by a flag raising in the Township of Langley.