Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 30, 2022 (SKNIS): Scores of senior citizens and officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Aging et al. gathered at the Calvary Baptist Church on Friday, September 30, 2022, to celebrate the contributions of older persons to national development.
The special service was held as part of local activities to commemorate the International Day of Older Persons. This year’s theme is “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.”
Pastor Prisca Heyliger delivered a rousing Sermonette citing the biblical example of Ruth and Naomi as related in the Book of Ruth. She outlined the principles of faith, perseverance, patience, and love that run throughout the biblical story. Pastor Heyliger told the seniors that they were quite resilient and thanked the seniors for their service.
“I’m honoured to be in your presence. So much wisdom, grace, talent, skill, and resilience are here today,” she said. “We have men and women who worked three and four jobs to make ends meet. They know how to take sardine and make saltfish – how they did it I don’t know. They can take one bread and feed fifteen (15) people.”
“They have learnt how to go through hard times and difficult situations and still stand. I salute you, I honour you today. Your name may not be written down in history as a specially important person, but I want you to know today [that] you are special, valuable, important, you are worthy of honour,” Pastor Heyliger added.
The ceremony was marked by uplifting praise and worship, and selections in song by homecare officers employed by the government as well as the St Peter’s Seniors. Former Government Minister Rupert Herbert played the National Anthem on Steel Pan while Edward Williams serenaded the seniors with “The Blessing.”
Junior Minister responsible for Aging, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, told the seniors that they are not forgotten by the government led by Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew.
“We recognize the contributions that you have made and we do want to invest more into older persons as a government. That is one of the commitments that we do have in terms of highlighting the care and services and seeing how we can build on our Senior Enrichment Programme,” she stated.
Junior Minister Phillip also extended appreciation to the home care officers for the excellent service they give to the nation’s elderly.
The International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 01.