A perfect time to honour the giants whose shoulders you stood on
By Sean Delaney
In the province of Ontario, the month of June should hold a special place in everyone’s hearts, because everyone can thank the generations that came before them for the gifts they have today.
It is an ubiquitous celebration no person should go without.
June is in Ontario.
It is a time when residents get to recognize the contributions that older adults make in communities across the province.
And in 2021, like anything else that has had to adapt to the present coronavirus pandemic, this June’s Seniors’ Month might take a little extra leg work and elbow grease from you. But seniors are worth it.
The Province of Ontario notes on its Seniors’ Month information page that, “given current circumstances, several Seniors Active Living Centres developed virtual programming to help older adults stay active and connected while physical distancing and self-isolating.”
The Carmine Stefano Community Centre in Emery Village is presently closed to seniors programming and being used as a vaccination site in the battle against the pandemic. However, with vaccinations ramping up, and the present stay at home order (as of April 26) set to begin phases of opening back up on May 20 depending on the situation and factors at the time of course, we recommend checking in with the centre at: 416-395-6127
Or visit them online at:www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/complex/350/index.html
Should the stay-at-home restrictions still be in place, there are a number of things you and your family can do to continue to honour the seniors in your life.
According to the Province of Ontario, seniors are recognized through two provincial senior award programs and nominations for these awards can be made at any point in the calendar year.
There is the Ontario Senior Achievement Award, which is open to anyone and allows them to nominate a senior living in Ontario. And municipalities will operate the Ontario Senior of the Year Award, in which a municipality can honour a senior living within their boundaries.
The province noted that municipalities that have submitted a nomination for the Senior of the Year Award often hold ceremonies during Seniors’ Month and recommend you contact your local municipality for more information.
In the milestone category, persons can request a congratulatory message if you or a senior in your life is marking a milestone occasion this year.
These types of honours include a note from her Majesty the Queen for Canadians celebrating birthdays of 100 years or more and for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries of 60 years or more (at five-year intervals). You can request the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, for Ontarians celebrating birthdays of 90 years or more and for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries of 50 years or more, to send recognition, or even approach the Prime Minister of Canada.
The PM office will react to requests for Canadians celebrating birthdays of 65 years or more (at five-year intervals) and for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries of 25 years of more (at five-year intervals).
The Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, will also get involved if Ontarians celebrating birthdays of 80 years or more and couples celebrating anniversaries of 40 years or more are the subject of the request.
You can also contact your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) or Member of Parliament (MP) for a variety of occasions.
All the information you need for applications is available on the Province of Ontario website:www.ontario.ca/page/celebrating-seniors-ontario
So, we recommend, especially during this pandemic period, that you don’t neglect the seniors in your life, and in fact, do a little more to honour them in 2021.
We all know they deserve it.