Celebrating seniors at a wedding anniversary

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, address the seniors.

A Vanguard Estate couple celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary by inviting 25 seniors to celebrate their day at a breakfast on Saturday October 1.

Adam and Arlene Carelse, owners of Koinonia Cake and Coffee Shop, a Christian-based establishment in Sybrand Park, invited seniors who made a significant impact in their lives, and asked their family and friends to do the same.

They also used this opportunity to honour seniors who were their “long-standing” customers.

The coffee shop has discounted prices for seniors on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Apart from celebrating their anniversary, the Carelse couple also view this gesture as part of their “tithing”.

Said Mr Carelse: “Koinonia has a ministry component. The vision of the ministry is to sow into the lives of vulnerable people in our society. It also affords us an opportunity to pay our tithes from the proceeds of Koinonia.”

Among the guests were Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, as well as Bridget van der Merwe, the former chief executive officer of the Cape Town Association for the Physically Disabled (CTAPD).

Addressing her fellow guests, Ms Little said it had been proven that any City of Cape Town project was more successful when seniors were involved.

“Too many times we send seniors home to retire, when you have so much more to offer. Our seniors are very important, and I would like to thank the organisation for honouring you. What we as younger people have to give, is in you. Our youth will walk the same road you walked, and they will face the same challenges you did, and that is why we need your wisdom,” Ms Little said.

Jayson Alcock, the master of ceremonies, reminded the seniors that they were being celebrated “for the blessings you opened to us”. “Your sacrifices opened doors for us,” he added.

Ms Van der Merwe, a retiree herself, said too often seniors believe they had lost some of their usefulness or value.

“We don’t lose our value, even if society deems so. As you get older, your wisdom counts for the next generation. As seniors, we need to be ambassadors for Christ, so that young people can follow our example of having a calm spirit, being a good listener, a worshipper and a pillar of faith. Sometimes we fall into the trap of being ‘holier than thou’. When someone asks how you are, don’t complain about the aches and pains. Exuding God’s love requires us to be positive, and to be the joy of the Lord and to claim it as our strength. Our task is to do reconciliation work. By listening, we can give patience and tolerance and by loving we can bring about change. I can still give something to the community. I still have value, and I can still be a blessing,” Ms Van der Merwe said.