Victorian Seniors Festival
The Victorian Seniors Festival is a month-long program recognising and celebrating senior Victorians. This year marks the 40TH anniversary of this wonderful event.
The evolution of Seniors Week into a month-long festival focusing on positive ageing and the passing last month of the Queen, who was still working and performing official duties at 96 years of age, prompted me to reflect on the capacity of people to continue to accomplish remarkable things well into their senior years.
The Victorian Government has a dedicated Seniors online website that features a special page dedicated to the Victorian Seniors Festival | Seniors online (https://www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/victorian-seniors-festival). The online calendar already has over 600 events listed some in person, some online, most are free of charge. I encourage you to visit the website and get involved.
As we celebrate warmer days, the Seniors Festival and our own Village Open Day and Fete on the 8th of October, I thought I would include some fun facts on some remarkable senior achievements.
- The average age of Residents moving into the Village is 73, which also happens to be the same age that Roget was when the First edition of his famous Roget’s Thesaurus was published.
- At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first African-American woman, to reach the North Pole.
- At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space – at the same age Minoru Saito from Japan became the oldest person to sail solo and non-stop around the world.
- In 2017, Irish racer Rosemary Smith became the oldest person to drive a Formula 1 car at age 79.
- Arthur Rubinstein was in his 80’s and still performing his brilliant piano concertos in London.
- At 80 years of age Yuichiro Miura was the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- William Ivy Baldwin was 82 when he crossed the South Boulder Canyon in Colorado on a 320-foot tightrope wire.
- Michelangelo was well into his 70’s as the Architect of St. Peter’s Basilica, and was still creating beautiful designs well into his 80’s as one of the Architects of the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
- Leonid Hurwicz the brilliant mathematician and theorist was 90 years old when he was awarded the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work on mechanism design.
Closer to home, I often think of Residents who I have been blessed to know and share time with over the last 22 years in my work at the Village. I smile fondly remembering Miss Clack who despite being dependent upon a wheelchair and living in the old nursing home (now Admin), ran the Village Church with such energy and enthusiasm. I recall being greeted every morning in my first few years of work here by Grace and Arend who dutifully curated the gardens of the old Nursing home, every day rising at dawn to tend to the plants and flowers. Scooter horns still remind me of being beeped out of the way on a footpath in the Hostel by one of our Resident sisters in her motorised scooter – not long after she and her sister (both in their 80’s) returned from driving across the Nullarbor plain long before the safety of mobile phones and GPS were invented.
Thank-you for choosing Village Baxter as the place you retired to and for allowing me and my team of wonderful staff to share in some of your stories and life events. Enjoy Open day, celebrate our ability to socialise and reconnect again.
Til next month, Kim Jackson, CEO