aging-conference-regularBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

The new Council on Aging Grey Bruce Owen Sound initiative held its fourth of five regional introductory meetings at the Owen Sound Legion on Monday. The Council, born of a March 2014 Seniors' Summit, is intended to give voice to seniors' concerns, providing input at all levels of government and agencies to encourage quality services and programs. "Seniors helping seniors, championing good results from past work and building a local policy approach to issues" is how steering committee member Mike Traynor described the "muscle and meat" of the initiative.

Questions raised from the floor were not so much about the Council itself but included concerns about transportation, housing, isolation, and accessibility of services. Jan Chamberlain, chair of the steering committee, commented that it was exactly the kind of conversation that she expects to happen at the regional committees, each of which will have representation on the Council. "Will there be action on local issues? It all depends on these committees," said Traynor.


islam-cathy-feataBy Cathy Hird

The haunting chant of the call to prayer opens the silence of dawn in the cold clear air of Lenasia, an Indian township near Johannesburg, South Africa. The melodic chant summons the whole community to the day, even if those who do not yet need to rise roll over in bed. The community has churches and temples as well, but the call to prayer is broadcast to all and shapes the atmosphere of the community.

In Istanbul where there are many mosques, the chant begins in the east of the city, and then as dawn moves westward, each mosque in turn broadcasts the summons to begin the day with prayer. The call is given five times during the day, but later, as the city gets busy, it competes with the noise of cars and trucks, buses and voices. At dawn, the call is clear.

hands-compassion-regBy Cathy Hird

This week, I am telling a traditional story that is, in part, about choosing your leadership style. I will base my version on the way a man we know as Matthew wrote it.

At the height of the Roman Empire, a time of oppression and economic injustice, a man sees the need for a new pattern for his society. He bathes in the Jordan River, washing free of the system that oppresses his people. He rises from the water to seek a new way. As he rises, he has a vision that God has chosen him for the work of societal renewal.

Chinese-ny-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

Grey Roots hosts the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. with a little introduction to the Chinese experience in the region, followed by a unique opportunity to taste the occasion. Special New Year's foods will be on offer, along with traditional activities for good luck and prosperity for the year to come. Demonstrations of the fan dance, traditional Hung Gar martial arts and the beautiful music of the Guzengh will be presented, and hands-on crafts and games will continue until 1 o'clock, when the party moves downtown.

Beginning at 2, the Library will be entertaining children with story-telling, crafts and martial arts demonstrations. And everyone is invited to learn - definitively and without judgement - how to eat with chopsticks.

The Tom Thomson is hosting a film about Chinese New Year celebrations and a special art exhibit that includes local artists' interpretations of the "year of the goat.".

black-history-regBy Blaine Courtney

February is Black History Month. Original known as Negro History Week, in the United States, it has been expanded to ensure sufficient time is available to recognize and celebrate the history of blacks in North America. Our school books contained little on the subjects of slavery, emancipation, the struggle for civil rights and the significant contributions blacks have made to the growth and maturity of our nations. February has been set aside to address this neglect.

Our obvious memories are those associated with sports and music. Almost everyone can name several noted black athletes and entertainers. While the contributions their successes have had in the overall journey towards acceptance and equality in society is significant, they only represent a small portion of the entire story.



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