From the President’s Desk
We are in the situation that most of us have never been in during our lifetime. Consequently we have no idea what to expect but we, and in particular our older members, should follow the guidelines as closely as possible. The Government has requested that those over 70 self-isolate themselves and the flow-on effect from that, that all other members should make every effort to keep in touch with these special people.
Our AGM on Monday March 16 was not well attended but overall I can report we have had a good year with a small surplus to take into the current year.
At the AGM Grey Power stalwart John Craighead was farewelled. John has given long and good service to Grey Power and to the Marlborough District Council and the community. We wish him well for his retirement from public sector life.
AGM election of officers:
President: Graeme Faulkner; Vice-President: Gayle Chambers (office manager); Secretary: Annie Percy (Smart & Con- nected); Treasurer: Not filled (if anyone is interested please con- tact Graeme); Publicity Officer: Brian McNamara. Committee: Eleanor Kietzmann (Health & Member Welfare), Shona Currie (Access & Mobility), Russell Hopkins (Housing Matters & Abbeyfield Liaison), Brian Ross (assist with housing as required), John Leader (Environment & Monthly Meetings), Barbara Hutchison (Membership).
We look forward to another successful year and I hope that all our members get through the current crises and remain healthy.
Our monthly meetings are cancelled during Level 4. A pity, as the last speaker, Steve Austin from Marlborough Museum, was most interesting. I just loved holding an artefact from New Zealand, an argillite adze, that was 700 years old.
Our office is closed during the level 4 emergency. Our phone is still available during normal hours and our staff will be working from home. Phone 578 4950 and leave a message; left messages will be answered twice daily
CONTACT IN DISTRESS
Phone Healthline 0800 611 116 and they will direct you to the appropriate agency.
Covid-19 advice from our President
Everyone can do their bit. I know that people over 70 are not infirm or necessarily unfit.
However, there is compelling evidence that Covid-19 is a lot more severe for people over 70 years of age and for those people at higher risk through underly- ing health conditions.
These health conditions include asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, those being treated for cancer, and those on medication that lowers their immunity.
Friends, family and neighbours can deliver food and household items, however we are suggesting that no direct contact be made.
People over 70 are still encouraged to keep active by taking a walk each day, going driving if possible, but staying two metres from all people while doing these activities.
Should people in your house- hold have to self-isolate due to travel or illness, they can get separate accommodation from you if you are over 70 or have an underlying illness; they can call the temporary accommodation line on 0508 754 163 to register.
There are simple steps you can take to better protect your- self and others from Covid-19. Practise good hygiene by:
- Covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or your elbow
- Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and drying them thoroughly
- Cleaning your hands with a hand sanitiser that has at least 60 per cent alcohol
- Avoiding touching your face
- Avoiding contact with people who are unwell (this includes friends and family).
- If you’re working, consider options for working from home and make a plan with your employer.
The Unite against Covid-19 website has more information: https://covid19.govt.nz/how- were-uniting/
If you have a disability or receive support services, the Ministry of Health has guidance on preventing the spread of Covid-19. See https://www. health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-information-disabled-people-and-their-family-and-whanau
There are also other precautions you can take against Covid-19.
- Stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds.
- Avoid public transport if possible.
- Keep a safe distance from others; two metres is the recommended physical distance.
- Make sure you have several weeks’ worth of medication. Some medications will be limited to a month’s supply at a time.
- Make a plan with family, friends or neighbours who may need to help you if you become sick.
- Find more information about physical distancing at www. covid.govt.nz.
By acting responsibly and uniting against Covid-19 we can all get through.
Marlborough Grey Power President is on both Grey Power’s national law and order committee and emergency management committee, and is ideally placed to offer advice to members.
Latest from our Publicity Officer – Brian McNamara
‘‘O tempora, O mores.’’ Caesar Augustus
I am writing this on day one of the level 4 lockdown, and you will be receiving this, dear reader, on day 9. Things change so fast that we must be very resilient along with many other virtues. We read about resili- ence in the teachings we publish from KiwiCan. Time to practice what our school children have learnt! Maybe even from them.
I used to be a runner. When running a mile race of four laps, the third lap was always the hardest. The initial energy was gone, reserves were heavily drawn on, and the finishing tape was still more than a lap away.
Our level 4 time at home may feel the same. However, this morning I received from a friend in Italy an email wishing us well in New Zealand. He was entering his fifth week of lock- down and said with humour and hope that he and his wife had still not killed each other after four weeks!
So, there is hope and much to be learnt and practised in these weeks. Well, I learnt that the US had a longer life expectancy during the Great Depression than it did during the late Swinging Twenties. Why? I believe it is what life is about: support from friends, neighbours, family, community. So long as we have enough to eat and drink, the real pleasures of life can be found in books, gardens, music, the arts, conversation, companionship.
I can’t go walking with my mate this month so we are going Skype walking; his idea. It entails walking for an hour or so at the same time but separately. Then we return home to Skype each other and enjoy conver- sation and a glass of beer together while on line.
My neighbour wants to hear me play guitar more on the patio. It seems the sound bounces off trees opposite to her place at a pleasant volume. Like the Italians singing on their bal- conies, we can perhaps play on our patios. We all have skills and ways of entertaining our- selves and others.
There are good things to be shared in a lockdown, The cellar can be sampled, the garden well tended, and I won’t be wasting my time watching sport on TV. Today I watched eight scaup, little diving ducks, on the river moving through the light and shade under the trees. Nothing on TV could match that.
So, fellow Grey Power members, we are all in this together. Let us practise resili- ence and compassionate kind- ness. We may all profit from this shared and levelling experience.
Stay home. Save lives.
Grey Power Marlborough
In 1939 the Government set up a self-perpetuating pension scheme and New Zealand workers paid 7.5% of their income into it until the Government amalgamated this into a consolidated fund 20 years later. Then, before the 1984 elections, politicians promised that Nation Superannuation would “..not be run down or changed in any way”. Still the Government imposed a surcharge on Superannuation. Many were incensed by the broken pledges and the “Grey Power New Zealand Federation Inc” evolved. While Grey Power’s original reason for formation was opposition to the surcharge, it is now involved in all aspects of New Zealand Superannuation, Health, Energy, Human rights, Social Services, Local bodies, 50 plus, and Law, order and justice.
Since it’s inception, Grey Power has achieved recognition with media and Government alike on matters pertaining to older New Zealanders. Grey Power is a non-profit society funded, primarily by membership fees. It is politically neutral. Grey Power’s mission statement today still remains. “To be the appropriate voice for all New Zealanders”
Grey Power is a lobby organization promoting the welfare and well-being of all those citizens in the 50 plus age group.
In Marlborough we have a committee who have portfolios to ensure our members are well represented in many areas for this age group of people. If there is an area of concern which you believe would affect people aged fifty plus, make contact with us so that we can try to help you the best we can.
If there is an area of concern which you believe would affect people aged fifty plus, make contact
Grey Power Marlborough are involved with social housing and are keen to see more houses built to support the need. We hold regular monthly members meetings with topics of interest for our members. Meetings are attended with the local MP and Mayor with our members interest at heart.
Grey Power Aims and Objectives
To advance, support and protect the welfare and well being of older people.
To affirm and protect that statutory right of every New Zealand resident, to a sufficient New Zealand Superannuation entitlement.
To strive for a provision of a quality Health Care to all New Zealand residents regardless of income and location.
To oppose all discriminatory and disadvantageous legislation affecting rights, security and dignity.
To be non aligned with any political party, and to present a strong united lobby to all Parliament and statutory Bodies on matters affecting New Zealanders.
To promote and establish links with kindred organizations.
To promote recognition of the wide-ranging services provided by senior citizens of New Zealand.
To gain recognition as an appropriate voice for all older New Zealanders.
Visual Personality of our Organisation
Strong and active but not militant
Friendly and mature
Acting with dignity and integrity
Having the wisdom of age
Adding to quality of life
A positive organisation to be associated with