“The purpose of Positive Ageing Week is to show that ageing is not something to fear, but something to celebrate.
“It is an opportunity for communities to recognise the contribution they have made, and continue to make, in their localities” said Eamon Timmins, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action Ireland Ltd.
Amongst nine individuals up for the overall REHAB Kildare Person of The Year title are three ’mature’ but very active community heroes: Dave Henshaw, Athy, Stan Hickey of Naas and Maureen Abbott, Celbridge.
Dave Henshaw, an avid sailor and retired publican enjoys a spot of deep sea diving, paragliding or abseiling – not bad for a man who lost the use of one arm and hand after a severe stroke some years ago and has survived quadruple bypass surgery, a brain tumour, hip and knee replacements. Dave was one of 14 stroke heroes honoured at the Irish Heart Foundation Life After Stroke Awards, sadly nominated by his wife Pat who passed away before Dave received the award.
Athy was the first town in Ireland to adapt a Positive Ageing Week (PAW and has won Best Town for Positive Ageing Week four years in a row. Positive Ageing Week continues up to and including October 5.
Stan Hickey of Naas has been a member of the Moat Club for 53 years and has, as a talented set builder and sound technician, helped the club to secure 12 All Ireland drama titles. As a member of Naas Historical Society, he has been editor and chief photographer for several publications capturing the heart and history of Naas Town, onet of which was Nás na Ríogh, An Dá Mhíle – Sin Mar a Bhí (Naas Town 2000 – The Way We Were). The history group is currently photographing Naas residents in everyday roles whilst Stan is also researching the history of Main Street, gathering data on businesses from 1950 onwards.
Maureen Abbott of Celbridge is of a ‘mature vintage’ herself but continues to look after North Kildare’s senior citizens via Celbridge Care of the Aged. For Maureen, it’s important to address practical problems e.g. sourcing and supplying electrical cookers, new windows, heating problems and alarm installations. Maureen liaises between local residents requiring alarms and with the local District Nurse, TASK and the Dept of Family and Community Affairs. She continues to fundraise annually to support Celbridge Care of the Aged local needs. The completion of The Story of Celbridge Mill, 1712-2010 was one of her proudest moments and the book raised funding for the Care of the Aged and Youth Café.
These three community stalwarts will be honoured at the 2013 REHAB Kildare People of the Year Awards in the Keadeen Hotel on November 1, along with Johnny Doyle of Allenwood; Tom McDermott, Newbridge; Evelyn Moyles Sheehy, Newbridge; Town Commissioner Teresa Byrne of Leixlip; Paddy Phelan of Kildare Town and Irish Ladies Fly Fishing duo Julie Gerry (Captain) and Jennifer Casey of Clane. The International Award will be presented to Michael Reade of Kilcullen for his work in Africa with the Patsy Furlong Foundation.
For tickets, contact Matt Browne of REHAB on 087 265 4582.