November 20 is a day most known in Canada as National Child Day, but it is also an annual observance that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Today let’s remember the innocence of children and pray for their safety as they grow, for acceptance in their true identity.
Southwestern Coalition to End Violence has begun their preparations for their Annual General Meeting.
Members from the Local Coordinating Committees: BSG Coalition to End Violence, HELP Committee and Peaceful Communities will come together to celebrate this past year. Child & Youth Advocate of NL, Jackie Lake Kavanagh, will be the keynote speaker for this event.
Members of the Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence (BSGCEV) spent several months planning their annual Seniors Kitchen Party in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
June 15, designated by the United Nations, is recognized world-wide as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Since 2010, the BSGCEV under the Regional Coordinating Committee of Southwestern Coaltion to End Violence hosts an annual kitchen party for seniors.
This event is held in appreciation of our seniors while offering a fun, interactive afternoon of music, fellowship and information.
108 seniors, plus committee members, community resource people and committee members came together on Saturday, June 17, 2017 to pay tribute to the pillars of our community-our senior population.
During the afternoon, seniors were treated to a delicious hot turkey dinner, with celebration cake for dessert to go along with their good cup of tea/coffee. Of course, nothing compliments a good cup of tea like a Purity bickey.
Several information display booths were inviting to those attending and each could walk away with valuable resources regarding their sexual health, programs and services available with NL Power for those living on a limited budget. Other booths offered volunteer and past-time options such as Lions Club, Women’s Center and BSGCEV.
The assembled group were greeted by MHAs John Finn, and Scott Reid. Michelle Felix brought greetings and well-wishes on behalf of the MP Gudie Hutchings and Stephenville Town Councillor Don Gibbons welcomed everyone in from the Bay St. George area.
Guest speakers encouraged everyone to live an active lifestyle. Lisa Henley, Wellness Facilitator with Western Health offered the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, while YMCA fitness instructor Paula Woodfine engaged them in some physical activities that everyone of any age, any medical issue or mobility can do to keep active.
Several dancers with the Twilight 50+ Club got the party started with a couple of toe-tapping numbers with all invited to join in as Overflow tuned up the band for an afternoon of lively music and dancing.
Feedback reports a great time had by all, with many new faces vowing they will be back. Most reported that they were leaving with valuable information and new friendships made.
As one 4th grader so creatively put it on their placemat that colored the tablesetting, “No one ever injured their eyesight, looking on the brigh side of things.” That’s a great way to live each of our days, no matter how many we have. Thank you to all the seniors who have given so much of their time, efforts and energy to be positive role models to our current generation. Hopefully, we’ll make you proud!
The monthly Community Cafe held on the second Thursday of the month at the Stephenville Lions Club, this month went pink!
The Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence sponsored February’s cafe as part of their Violence Prevention Month activities. Patrons were welcomed to a world of pink as they entered in anticipation of their free meal provided by sponsors of the Southwestern Housing Stability Initiative’s project.
The Bay St. George Status of Women’s Council displayed their pink tree adorned with inspirational ornaments. Volunteers sported pink shirts, tables were dressed in pink clothes with a Stand Up sign welcoming everyone as they entered.
With a hot meal, an awareness of violence prevention and information patrons left feeling warm and informed.
Tears, Beers & Slot Machines
T’was the weekend before Christmas
In a tavern I was there,
Putting the bucks in a slot machine
And drinking that bloody beer.
I only had one daughter
She was cute and very young,
I never knew the sadness
That into my life would come.
She stood outside the tavern door
She was scarcely six years old,
No socks, just sneakers on her feet
As she shivered in the cold.
The tears streamed down her frozen cheeks
As she called out loud and clear,
”Please Daddy, come home with me,
And don’t drink no more beer.”
“Please Daddy come and stay with me,
You know I love you so
With Mommy home upon the floor,
I have no place to go.”
“Mommy, she’s not feeling well,
And she has gone asleep.
I tried to wake her Daddy
Bu I’m too small and weak.”
Her daddy couldn’t hear her cries
As he played the slot machines.
His eyes glued to the spinning wheels
While his daughter called again.
No answer still and the spinning wheels
Shrouded her sweet young voice.
And his daughter sat down so tired and cold
On a doorstep filled with ice.
“Daddy can you hear me
It’s very cold out here.”
But her daddy played the video game
And drank down one more beer.
A man looked through the tavern door
When he saw the little girl outside.
“Will you tell my daddy that I’m here?
Tell him Mommy died.”
The teardrops down his cheeks did roll,
As the stranger clasped her hand.
And once inside the tavern door
She to her daddy ran.
That night was dark and dreary
And his wife could take no more.
She took an overdose of pills
And died upon the floor.
There’s a lesson to be learned my friends
From slot machines and beer,
And families left alone at home
By husbands you do not care.
I learned my lesson really well
And paid a heavy price.
And lost the person that I loved
Who I took form my wife.
To promote violence awareness and prevention, February has been declared Violence Prevention Month. Local Coordinating Committees throughout the region have been busy connecting and challenging local communities to engage in events and activities.
The Bay St. George Coalition partnered with the College of the North Atlantic on Feb 4 for the month’s kickoff hosting its Indoor Beach Party with free hugs and Random Acts of Kindness. Local businesses, organizations and offices have been issued the challenge to “light it up pink” by displaying pink in their doorways, windows, marquees, as well as, themselves. Social media avenues have encouraged hash tags to reflect positive messages along with painting profile pictures pink.
On Feb. 24 schools will host STAND UP Day with students and staff making pledges to stand up to bullying, while engaging in interactive respect education activities.
How will you highlight your personal pledge to fight to end violence and bullying? Will you participate in Violence Action & Awareness Training? Will you engage in a 10 Minute Talk? Or will you wear your pink shirt and Stand Up! Regards, let’s accept the challenge and “light it up pink!”