If it is true that laughter is good for your health, we all came away from last Tuesday’s drop- in meeting (May 10) feeling VERY healthy! Reg Mitchell, often called ”Dr Zonk” the legendary mad scientist, retired University of Victoria chemistry professor, entertained us with the facts of what is known as “Snake Oil” advertising. He interpreted many misleading labels and advertisements which are portrayed as cure-all’s and medicinal miracles for a wide array of ailments – all costing far more than they are worth and all considered fraudulent.
Last Friday, April 29th, “On-the-Go-Again” celebrated with the Royals! The ladies turned out in their finery – hats and gloves were the order of the day. Our gentlemen also dressed for the occasion – ties, and even a tux complete with cummerbund! After viewing a table of Royal memorabilia, we watched a recording of the comings and goings of the wedding parties, and the pageantry of William and Kate exchanging vows in Westminster Abbey. For a generally very chatty group, the silence during the ceremony was impressive.
Our “Royal Tea” was equally impressive with cloth napkins and tablecloths, pretty cups and saucers, and even a silver tea service. Each table had a plate of fancy little sandwiches followed by individual plates of very special goodies. We even had “William’s wedding cake” made by Val Baba. Our kitchen helpers outdid themselves with continual refills of fresh hot tea served by our “butlers,” Rich and Art.
Many thanks to ALL the volunteers who provide pick-up for those who no longer are able to drive, meet and greet, bake and bring goodies, work in the kitchen, set up programs, and generally keep an eye on our valued elders who function more comfortably in a smaller venue.
Gwyneth Kingham gave us an excellent travelogue about Mali, known as the jewel of West Africa. Mali has a fascinating culture from the nomad people of the Sahara to the Niger fishing societies. Her slideshow was backed up with interesting facts about one of Africa’s greatest empires rich with history. It included many sights visited and their trip on the Niger River. Along with the wonderful sights Gwyneth and her husband visited they were also privileged to be included in the some of the ceremonies and musical traditions of the people.
Colleen Long from the Capital Regional Districts spoke to our group on April 19 about invasive alien species and the impact they can have on other plants, animals and humans. Through a well presented slideshow she was able to demonstrate the massive project the Regional Parks have undertaken in their effort to control the problem. For example she discussed how crop yields are reduced, when invasive plants take over the farmer’s fields, thus having an economic impact and how pets and some creatures used in school projects, when released back to the wild, can be harmful to our native species. We were reminded how important it is to remove invasive alien plants like Scotch broom, spurge, holly, and ivy, to name a few, as they are so destructive to our native habitats and the creatures who live in them.