On Saturday June 7 I attended the world premiere of STREET REQUIEM presented by the School of Hard Knocks.
The first half of the program was dedicated to choirs who had taken part in the Eisteddfod held during the previous week. Of particular note was the Dunstanza Choir (Dunstan High School, located in Alexandra, Central Otago, New Zealand). Sixty strong with voices of clarity and unison, this choir swept all before them in their competitions and deservedly so. The audience was universally appreciative of their performance.
After a short intermission where many conversations of praise were heard for the various choirs’ performances, there was also anticipation for what was to come next.
STREET REQUIEM, Conceived by Jonathon Welch and created in conjunction with Kathleen McGuire and Andy Payne aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance and hope to communities struggling to come to terms with street violence and a loss of safety on our streets. It is a beautiful piece of contemporary work including additional English, African and Persian lyrics alongside a modern setting of the traditional Latin texts. While at times deeply moving, the work is essentially optimistic and uplifting. Gospel, Celtic Indigenous, Classical and contemporary genres and instrumentation reflect the multicultural and multi faith traditions of modern city living.
One of the highlight moments at the beginning of the work has a didgeridoo being played while a soloist, Mortezar, from the Voices without Borders choir sang from the balcony. This moment in time encapsulated the very best of Australia now and into the future where old and new share and include each other without prejudice.
From the first notes of Introit to the final strains of Lux Aeterna, it was a journey of the soul filled with regret, sadness and empowerment. The combined choirs were contrasted with lilting solos by Liane Keegan and Danielle Matthews along with Jonathon Welch who sang together with Liane during the program as well as conducting during the first half.
The audience stood as one at the end clapping and chanting their enjoyment of the performances just witnessed. The conversations as we filed out into the cold were of wonderment. It’s safe to say we all left a little more enlightened and recognisant of those whose home are the cold streets. It was touching to witness at least one audience member purchase a red carnation from a lone flower seller who may have been one of the very people this work acknowledges. Lux Aeterna – Remember them.
July 1, 2014 No Comments
I find it ‘interesting’ that the demographic that has been called on the most in the past is again being asked to step up once again. Those over 50 have been called on in several wars, peace keeping missions and the like and now are once again being targeted in the budget. The readership of this paper has a very large spectrum of lifestyles. There are those who barely make it from one pension day to another and others who live more comfortably. Those who are unemployed but still want or need to work and those who are retired and finally able to follow their dreams. If there is one thing I know, it is that this readership demographic is intelligent, determined and has the ability to think outside of the square. Perhaps the call to arms should be to stand up and have our say. Bring our ideas to the table and make sure we are heard. This age demographic knows a thing or two about living within their means and building a stable and prosperous nation at the same time. So stand up, be heard, and don’t become invisible.
Onto a brighter note, where would I be without the engaging readers 50+ has? From sending story ideas, segment topics and feedback you are all wonderful. In this issue you will find the 50+ short story competition is back, so get out your pens, pencils or computers. For the poets out there don’t worry you are not forgotten, there will be something for you in the coming months. Thank you to all those who entered the Mother and Son competition, the winners are announced on p18. Congratulations.
Your response to another call to arms is very evident in the amount of communications I received on volunteering. It is staggering to me that businesses cannot leverage off the experience and abilities of those in the over 50 age bracket. Given the life and work experiences they have, some use this to keep their skill levels up in the same profession they did or continue to work in. Others attend training courses supplied by the organisation and learn new skills. It seems to me that if organisations large and small can invest in and be grateful for the 50+ demographic of volunteers it certainly proves their worth to be in paid employment. Businesses need to stamp out the ageism that exists and gain a fresh perspective. Think of the untold benefits of partnering life and experience mentoring with the fresh faced work force that brings their own concepts to the table. Working together instead of choosing only one side of the coin businesses would build strong, sustainable futures for shareholders and workers alike.
For any group or organisation wanting to recruit volunteers please let me know and 50+ will get the word out.
Until next month stay safe and enjoy.
June 2, 2014 No Comments
I want to take the opportunity to thank all those people and organisations who have contacted me expressing delight that A) 50+ is back and B) that they enjoyed the April edition.
The April edition would not have been possible without the assistance of Margaret and Scott and again I pay homage to them. Scott has also assisted with some layout this month as well as I settle into the job. Thank you Scott!
Much of the positive feedback from readers has centred around some new segments such as Going Places, the Poirot DVD competition and the gardening article. I have had dozens of entries for the competition and choosing a winner was extremely difficult.
To our wonderful advertisers who jumped on board and have re-committed to further their association with 50+ I give my whole hearted thanks. and not least to those new advertisers coming on board. Please support them where you an. They’re great folk and without them we couldn’t exist.
Next month we are featuring 50+ careers, business and volunteering. Today it is not uncommon for people over 50, 60 and beyond to still be in paid employment, or looking for employment wither by choice or circumstance. So if you have a business that you want to promote that is of benefit to our readers, a job opportunity or know of some volunteering opportunities please let me know.
I will also be looking at the positive impact volunteering has not only for community and society but also for the volunteer themselves. Do you volunteer and have a positive story to tell? Refer to the Letters column for contact details.
I hope you enjoy the May issue. Keep the feedback coming and for the mums and grandma’s out there, have a great mother’s day.
Until next month, stay safe and enjoy.
May 12, 2014 No Comments
Hello everyone and welcome to the new chapter of the Fifty Plus News story. It is a great pleasure to be able to bring this publication back to its loyal readership. I would like to thank Margaret and Scott Riddle for their unstinting generosity of time and knowledge during this journey to get the April edition, the first for 2014, out on the stands. My immense gratitude also goes to our wonderful advertisers who have come back on board so quickly. Please support them because without them we cease to exist.
You will notice some slight changes but rest assured the well known and loved features will stay but there will be some new and hopefully interesting additions. The integrity and spirit of Fifty-Plus News is assured and my aim is to make this publication the first place 50+ Victorians go to for information, use as a resource and most importantly thoroughly enjoy reading. This last is most important and one of our aims in the next few months is to enhance the digital footprint of Fifty-Plus News so that it is more accessible to those who use tablets and smartphones.
I’d also like to encourage you to have your say. Please write in and let me know what it is you love about the paper, possible improvements or new areas to cover. This is your paper and it is important it reflect your interests and concerns. Whether you use email or snail mail your communications will be most welcome.
Finally our first edition is issued in April 2014. 100 years since the commencement of the First World War, which was supposed to be the war to end all wars, if only that were so. The commemoration of Anzac Day on April 25 is a time to not only reflect on what has gone before but where we want our future to be. So to those who have served in the past, to those who continue to serve and to their families who serve in their own way, Fifty-Plus salutes you. Lest we forget.
Until next month,
April 7, 2014 No Comments
This December 2013 edition is the final issue of Fifty-Plus News to come to you under the control of the Riddle family. The decision to cease publication has not been made lightly, because we are aware that many groups and individuals find the newspaper a useful addition to their lives as older people, in a media environment that does not always bring them the news and information they need. However, the time has come to ‘move on’ as they say in the world of politics — or perhaps “to zip”!
Producing Fifty-Plus News for almost 23 years has been a fascinating journey and, as with most journeys, when it comes time to reflect, it is the people you engage with on the way that form the best memories.
Countless people have made important contributions to our positive recollections: people we have employed over the years; a succession of government workers and advisers dedicated to the cause of positive ageing; the hardworking and indomitable organisers of a variety of seniors’ groups; our regular contributors, many of whom have been providing excellent copy on time and with aplomb for decades; our printers, distributors and others who have provided exemplary service; our extraordinary regular advertisers; and, of course our loyal readers.
Our heartfelt thanks to you all; it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve you and to know many of you as friends, relationships that will continue in years to come.
It is possible that Fifty-Plus News will continue in 2014 under new ownership, so look for it at your usual outlet in February, just in case. Any news about continued publication will be posted on the website www.fiftyplusnews.com
Our very warm wishes to all for a safe and joyful festive season and a stimulating, satisfying 2014 and beyond.
(Other members of the Riddle family have been involved over the years — Cathy, Malcolm and Matthew in particular — and our special thanks go to them and to the rest of the clan who have been supportive in other ways.)
December 10, 2013 No Comments
Recipients of this year’s Senior of the Year awards were recognised for exemplary service to their communities in an illuminating array of inspirational, constructive and worthwhile projects and ventures.
The 14 award winners are involved, frequently as leaders and innovators, giving their time and energy in a wide variety of ways: pastoral care, education programs, support for veterans, instigating and guiding multicultural programs, building and nurturing seniors’ groups, giving practical support and comfort to the ill and the needy, tutoring young immigrants as well as important volunteer roles with meals on wheels, community visiting and the like.
Geelong resident, Pat Smith, who received the award of Victorian Senior of the Year, devotes an enormous amount of volunteer time to Uniting Care, providing pastoral care and support for vulnerable people. Notably, she established the Education Assistance Program, which helps vulnerable students and their families to ensure the students continue schooling, assisting as many as 437 students in the past year.
“Within the Geelong schools network, she is known as the person to turn to when seeking to help a young person continue their education,” said Minister for Ageing David Davis, who presented the awards at a special ceremony at Government House.
Other awards went to:
Graham Malloch of East Bentleigh: Veterans Community Award.
Jane Hansen of Spotswood,: Healthy and Active Living Award.
Jill Pattenden of Swan Hill: Promotion of Multiculturalism Award.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria Senior Achiever Awards:
Pamela Adams of Wodonga; Bruce Coller of Berwick; Barbara Dohle of Dunkeld; Lindsay Doig of Southbank; Beryl Logie of Ashburton; Javad Macsood of Templestowe; Janice Morris of Anglesea; Elsie Mutton of Doncaster East; John Nicolaou of Reservoir; Heather Wheat of Southbank.
November 6, 2013 No Comments