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Great crowd enjoys return of in-person seniors’ active living fair

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
For the first time in three years, the seniors’ information and active living fair was back live and in-person having switched to a virtual fair for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted by the Prince Edward County Community Care Association for Seniors, the annual event once again proved popular as it took over much of the Wellington and District Community Centre Thursday.

Always a favourite event for the fall calendar, there was lots to see, do, learn, experience and enjoy with interesting presentations and demonstrations with programming interspersed with interesting and informative short talks.

Live musical entertainment broke up the day’s events, including the Library Orchestra, and the very well-received County Ukulele Band whose sing-along tunes had folks tapping their toes.

Always a familiar and popular presenter, Terry Sprague gave a brief presentation on Bird Identification 101, where he gave a run down on some of the birds found in the County and easy tips on how to identify them, complete with providing the sounds of calls made by some of the most common birds.

Sprague also went over the six S’s he uses for identification purposes: size, shape, shadings, song, sweep and surroundings.

Amateur vexillologist Rob Leek talked about flags, describing his interest as an obsession.

For the fun event, he brought a handful of flags and talked about each in a little detail, which included audience interaction for anyone wishing to guess what county a particular flag belonged to. He also spoke briefly about how some flags are now considered provocative and emotional for some with negative connotations, such as the confederate flag which he said he is now considered very controversial.

His collection included a Loyalist flag, also the Royal Standard which was used in Canada by the visiting late Queen, where he noted that the new king has his own new Royal Standard flag. He also brought the Philippines flag, the Uruguay flag (with its happy yellow sun), the South African flag, the Welsh flag, as well as an Olympic flag and a Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones) flag, sharing some interesting facts about each. He also touched on flag-flying protocols.

More than 50 community vendors participated in the event filling Highline Hall, and spilling out into the Rotary Hall as well as the foyer, as their services and products were showcased in an informal and friendly environment.

Referring to the large number of vendors present, David Fox, a Community Care for Seniors board member said, “What a wonderful display this morning, it really proves the fact that there are a lot of resources in our community, and it’s really important you take advantage of it to make your life more enjoyable”.

While the event is geared toward seniors, family members of seniors and caregivers, the completely free event welcomed everyone. There was not just free food (a free lunch and refreshments (including Timbits)), but free entertainment, free advice, free knowledge, and free stuff. And for those who may have needed a ride to attend the event, free transportation was offered to anyone who asked.

For many, it was an enjoyable day out and a time not only to learn about some new services and programs, but the informal environment offered a sense of camaraderie. And there was more free stuff in the form of door prizes which were drawn throughout the day for a number of lucky winners.

Designed to highlight activities that help promote active healthy living, the event (and the organization and its mandate) focuses on the importance of seniors’ independence, as well as helping reduce social isolation in seniors through its regular programming with fostering social engagement, partnerships and learning.

Mike Branscombe, fire safety prevention officer, spoke to the importance of fire safety for seniors and having an escape plan in the event of a house fire where he gave helpful tips and answered audience questions.

There were also presentations on aging optimally, winter driving, recognizing the signs of stroke, frauds and scams, and caregiving 101, among them.

Margaret Werkhoven, with David Fox

Margaret Werkhoven, Community Care for Seniors foundation member noted how the organization has branched out into a variety of programs in the last few years because of their connection with the minister of seniors and accessibility.

“Many of you will be familiar with the services that are provided by Community Care, and those services are partially funded by the ministry of health and long-term care, services like meals on wheels, escorted transportation, reassurance calls, those all come through the ministry of health.”

Werkhoven shared a letter received from Raymond Cho, minister of seniors and accessibility, which read in part, “I am honoured to oversee programs that help seniors age well by staying healthy, active, socially engaged and independent. I appreciate the devoted efforts of senior active living centre operators who help Ontario seniors stay socially connected by in-person, virtual and remote programming”.

Just outside the main entrance, folks could enjoy a close-up look at one of the Prince Edward County’s Fire and Rescue fire trucks, as well as an EMS ambulance for those wanting to familiarize themselves. A County Transit bus was also on hand for those who wanted to explore the bus and its services.

Werkhoven gave special thanks to the volunteers who helped on the day, along with the very small but very dedicated staff, “who have spent months getting this event ready for you today”.

Community Care for Seniors offers an extensive array of programming, services, information and help for seniors living in Prince Edward County. They can be reached by phone at 613-476-7493, by email, or visit their website at

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  1. Liz Zylstra says:

    What a great day! Thanks to Community Care for Seniors for all the hard work planning and organizing.

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