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Association of Retired Persons Hosts 33rd AGM

The St. Lucia Association of Retired Persons (SLARP) met Wednesday, July 12 in the scenic village of Dennery for their 33rd Annual General Meeting.

Annual reports were received from the outgoing President, Remise Anthony, as well as from the Treasurer Director of Education and the Auditor.

In her report, Anthony highlighted some of the association’s achievements during her term in office (2015–2017), including:
1 Strategic plan clearly articulating the mission and the vision of SLARP
2 Reviewing the bye-laws that are in line with the vision of the association
3 Reviewing and discussing the various social activities that catered to the members’ needs
4 Revising the quarterly newsletter
5 A fully-functional Facebook page was set up
6 Vigorous membership drive that yielded 116 new members
7 An annual retreat that provided social and spiritual revival for members who participated
8 Member training on information and communication technology (ICT), including the use of the smart phone
9 The establishment of a welfare fund with a current balance of
$10,000

In addition, members of the Association gave back to the community by participating in the Annual Reading Programme at schools in the various communities as well as facilitated retirement planning seminars for the Ministry of Public Service.

The outgoing President said this was not achieved without challenges, one of which was the lack of the full complement of the Board of Directors. She noted that membership still remains a challenge as the Association depends on the related dues for survival.

The targeted membership is 1000; this year, the Association grew to 315 but was short and there is still much work to be done. This figure was achieved as ten new members were inducted at that meeting. Nonetheless, there was a noticeable absence of members from the western and southern quadrants of the island. It is hoped that this can be addressed in the coming year.

The highlight of the meeting was the address by the guest speaker, Dr. Virginia Poyotte, who is also a member of the Association. Dr. Poyotte spoke on the topic, “Adjusting to Changes in the Golden Years”.

She ascribed the “golden years” as the period of prosperity and happiness, indicating that these years should be the best of one’s life.

Dr. Poyotte noted that if one is to adjust to the golden years, there are some critical areas that one should focus on, including:
1 The physical body — paying attention to one’s health, physical appearance and mental state
2 Spiritual strength — developing a connection with a supernatural spirit so as to build a close relationship with your God
3 Social activity – engaging in recreational activities, finding things you like to participate in
4 Economic standing – in order to be financially successful, one should have at least 4 to 6 different avenues of income
5 Dwelling place – ensuring that your retirement home is easily accessible and comfortable as you age.
6 Emotional well being – your happiness counts; avoid issues that cause depression.
7 Coping with family and close friends
8 Joining an organization where you can contribute, such as SLARP, and where you can share ideas with colleagues and friends
She cautioned members that they should enjoy and welcome grandchildren but try not to make babysitting a full-time job. Dr. Poyotte concluded that SLARP provides the opportunity for retirees to contribute and that the Association is the place to keep individuals active, motivated as well as help members enjoy the golden years.

Following the address by Dr. Poyotte, the association held its election for the new board of directors. Remise Anthony was re-elected President. To support her are the other members of the Board:
• Vice-President — Mrs. Vanesta Moses-Felix
• Treasurer– Mrs. Clermina Annius-James
• Secretary – Ms. Verne Henry
• Public Relations Officer — Mrs. Alice Stephen
• Director, Education Committee — Ms. Lera Pascal
• Director, Social Committee –Mrs. Marilyn John-Marquis
• Director Fundraising — Mrs. Bodill Philogene

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