CBAC holds elections, goes digital and continues activities
For members of the Council of Black Aging Community of Montreal, COVID-19 managed to cramp their style but only for a little bit.
The organization which was founded in 1987, to serve as a support network for Black seniors in and around Montreal has remained a vibrant force in our community offering a full slate of events and activities for members all year round.
Stunted over the past ten months due to the coronavirus, the CBAC driven by some of its directors along with a hard working office staff was still able to maintain its presence as well as offer continued support to members.
In August, as the Covid-19 numbers ebbed, the council took advantage of the opportunity to hold its Annual General Meeting and elections of officers putting in place a board of directors that included some new faces. Johnson Ariwei was elected president to replace N’Oji Militikazi whose term of office ended this year.
Others elected to serve are, Clifford Dolphy (Public Relations Officer), Raquel Huggins (Secretary), Debbie Hunte (Vice President), Veronica Payne (Treasurer), Elaine Nixon (Director), Yvonne Sam (Director), Joyce Forte Armorer (Director), Yvette Clarke (Director) and Edris Roberts (Director.)
According to Executive Director Katrina Nurse, because Covid-19 triggered an immediate halt to in-person activities, members, many in their golden years were forced to become more familiar with digital technology.
That was made easier by increasing the office staff from two to three who worked with the seniors on their personal devices, helping them navigate apps and teach them how to use Zoom technology.
During the past few months The CBAC also partnered with Black Community Resource Centre for an interactive intergenerational project, which paired 10 seniors with 10 youth to engage in-group discussions about life experiences, current events, soca fitness classes & folk dancing with West-Can Performing Company.
The pairs met two days a week for five weeks strengthening the bonds between generations and bridging gaps by engaging in a buddy system and participating in a through fun activities and workshops. All participants were given brand new tablets to facilitate their virtual communication.
The highlight of the year came on December 10, when over 145 members had a Holiday package delivered to their homes.
The theme of this initiative was “A Taste of Home” and the boxes were filled with treats and goodies meant to be a reminder our members of being back home in the Caribbean for the holidays, along with special ornaments.
Nurse extends a “Big Thank You” to SNS catering, Embrydon Distributors in Toronto, Conglom Inc., Sidney Braithwaite, Annette Clarke, Joyce Armorer, Raquel Huggins, the social committee and the staff of CBAC for making this all possible.
Also in collaboration with New Horizon and as part of the CBAC’s COVID relief efforts, 30 lucky members received brand new Samsung (Galaxy Tab A) Tablets after 80 names were put into a digital spinning wheel and the winners were picked on a Wednesday Zoom Chat.
Nurse extends congratulations to all winners and on behalf of the staff; board of directors and members of the CBAC offers Holiday Greetings to the community and best wishes for a safe and healthy Christmas and New Year.