BY MICHAEL GIBBS
It has now been a few weeks (it seems a lot longer) since the life of carefree interaction with our family and friends came to a dramatic end. For some of us, that meant the temporary suspension of part- or full-time employment. For many it has meant a separation from our families and friends and, in the extreme, the necessity to avoid seeing loved ones in hospital and long-term care.
Those of us who look forward to monthly meetings, church services, and volunteer work now find ourselves denied access to them. Our libraries, senior centres, and community recreation facilities are closed and even though many of us have grandchildren on an extended spring furlough, we are not able to visit them.
It’s not a very good situation to be in as social needs — so important to all of us — are especially important to seniors.
As a person who is very active in the heritage community, I am very aware of the benefits afforded by membership in the arts, culture, and history programs offered to all in our city. I am continually humbled by the talents, sense of social commitment, and the stories that everyone brings to our community.
Surrey is a city with a proven record of promoting our collective heritage. The importance placed on our seniors and their value to the city’s livability has always impressed me. The City encourages membership in more than one hundred non-profits and has financially supported programs that make all our lives better.
Things will get better and, in the meantime, let us all use the time we now have to do the following three things:
1. Keep up your connection to the groups you have memberships in by following them on their websites and in their newsletters.
2. Take a moment to share your memories with family and friends in a letter, email, or phone call. Where appropriate, share those thoughts with a greater audience by contributing them to monthly newsletters, to our local newspapers, and to the community Facebook pages to which you belong.
3. Now is a good time to look around for old letters, photos, and journals and, again where appropriate, share them with others.
Now is the time to once again recognize your wonderful lives and experience, exercise your brain and its memories, and realize your important role in Surrey’s heritage.
Michael Gibbs is the president of the Surrey Historical Society.