• James Parry

Parrywinkle, January 25, 2018


PHOTO COURTESY LAURA McCAFFREY

(Left to right) Nicolas Pedneault, Director Parks, Recreation, Culture, Tourism and Communications, Mayor Jamie Nicholls and District 2 Councillor Austin Rikley-Krindle inaugurate The Underground Teen Centre in Hudson.

In this ever-expanding PC world - Political Correctness that is, not Personal Computer nor Progressive Conservative - sometimes things do seem to get a little crazy and difficult to defend. But here's one initiative that I'm wholeheartedly behind being, as I am, a journalist of a certain age and living in the little town of Hudson with an ageing population. Permit me to explain!

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UNBIASED MANNER - According to an international think tank, backed by ageism campaigners, and as reported in the The Daily Telegraph in the U.K., a recent guide for journalists states that 'elderly' should no longer be an acceptable word when describing older people.

Instead, recommends The International Longevity Center and Aging Services of California in the U.S., people over 50 should be referred to as 'older people' or simply 'man' or 'woman' followed by their age in what would be a 'fair contemporary and unbiased' manner.

States the report in its suggestions to the media, “If you need to identify individuals over the age of 50, 'older adults' is preferred over 'senior' and 'elderly', which can be discriminatory in nature. After all, we don't refer to people under 55 as 'junior citizens'. Instead, say 'man' and 'woman', and give the age, if relevant to the story.”

Add the authors, “About 80 per cent of older Americans have been subjected to ageist stereotypes and while names and characterizations may vary, the message is the same: older men and women are incompetent and lack sufficiency. And nothing could be further from the truth.”

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OUT OLD FOSSILS - Couldn't agree more! And a sentiment certainly shared by Miriam 'Min' O'Brien (former Hudson Irish Parade Queen Mom in 2015, owner of the award-winning B&B Gite 72 on Birch Hill, and a person aged 55 plus) who first brought it to my attention this past week.

Laughs Miriam, “I just hate being referred to as a senior. It seems to have had such negative connotations over the years. Visions of all kinds of ailments run through my brain. Old codger, geezer, fossil or old bag as mentioned in the report won’t work either. So I found this article. Makes me feel so much better, it does.”

Me too Miriam although, as you know, those descriptions are not part of my personal lexicon and never will be. So what do you think dear readers? Just e-mail me with your comments at the address below and we can take it from there in a future column. It goes without saying that persons under 55 years of age are also welcome to join in!

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AFTER THE FLOOD - Meanwhile, let's turn the spotlight on a wonderful venue for local 'junior citizens' - oops, make that youth and teens - that reopened in Hudson this past weekend after a devastating flood in 2015 that saw it shut down for major upgrade and renovations. I'm referring, of course, to the former Youth Centre - now dubbed The Underground or L'Underground as a result of a contest held last November - at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre, 394 Main Road which held a super celebratory party on Saturday, January 20.

Explained Laura McCaffrey, Hudson's Tourism, Culture, and Communications Director, “Back in the day, the centre was a hub of activity for teens and pre-teens with tons of after-school activities, leadership programs, live music nights and so much more, as well as epic Halloween nights in the village or at the Westwood Senior High School. Youth Centre teens were heavily involved in volunteering for this event and were a critical part of its success year after year.

“Then came the flood. But now that renovations are completed, we have launched a brand new slate of programs and activities for winter 2018. And our goal once again is to be the go-to place for teens and pre-teens with upcoming events including improv classes, a lip sync battle, movie nights, and even a spa experience. And we will now be open for kids to drop by on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 7:30 p.m. beginning Thursday, January 25.” (See photos on YLJ's Facebook page).

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HAPPY HAPPENING - In closing, hundreds of people of all ages from throughout the region will be at the Pavillon sur le lac du Château-Vaudreuil this Saturday, January 27, for the super Happening 2018 raising funds for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence on Como Gardens in Hudson which has some 240 volunteers helping year-round. A full report in next week's issue!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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