By Senaka Samarasinghe
Collaborated with Pembina Active Living
Susan Fletcher, the Executive Director of Pembina Assisted Living (PAL), invited SLSM to participate for a picnic on Thurs., Aug 22, 2023, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at St. Norbert Farmers’ Market Canopy.
Sri Lankan Folktale Drama was our main contribution not only to PAL but also to other invitees. A number of stalls offered a variety of social, educational and creative programs. The Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba and Alzheimer Society of Manitoba rendered valuable sets of information. When PAL requested SLSM to nominate one of our members to the PAL Board of Directors, we nominated Ismath. As Vice President, Ismath took a lead role. SLSM members are proud of him. My sister Thilaka, residing in Medicine Hat too attended as these days she is in Winnipeg.
Hon. Janice Lukes, Deputy Mayor, City of Winnipeg proposed an idea with the President and some Office Bearers of SLSM to call for an event to expose close similarities of two cities between Winnipeg and Colombo. Daya Perera proposed a date for this on Feb. 4, 2024, as it will be the 40th Anniversary of establishing Sri Lankan Association of Manitoba. Janice proposed a few venues to conduct such an event. Indra, President SLSM, suggested the Board of Directors will make a comprehensive plan on this venture.
Trip on Prairie Dog Central Railway
Prairie Dog Central Railway (PDCR) trip organized by Sri Lankan Seniors Manitoba (SLSM) on Aug. 26, 2023. The trip started at 11:00 am from rural community rail-station at Inkster Junction (Prairie Dog Trail, Rosser).
Within 45 minutes, the train reached Grosse Isle. In this village we spent nearly two hours, had lunch and visited the restored Ridgway Heritage House (which was built in 1886 and moved in 2006), East Rosser School and the church. This train is available only from May to September.
SLSM arranged this outing not only for seniors but also for all family members including kids. There were 48 adults with six kids. Of those joining us, there were seven parents from Sri Lanka visiting their children. My sister, Thilaka, an SLSM member now living in Medicine Hat, Alberta, also joined us. Only 36 can be accommodated in a single compartment so the overflow joined the adjacent carriage.
During the travel time, we met newcomers, and everyone joined in our singsongs, too. Train authorities had arranged for a travel attendant for each compartment to assist and to maintain safety of passengers.
Further, a guitarist walked across all carriages to provide entertainment. All travellers had lunch at Grosse Isle under the canopy close to the rail station and visited Heritage House, school and church kept for exhibition. All came back safely to Winnipeg in time.