Voices of the city - part of the citizen history that is seldom heard.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How do the seniors in the city tell their personal stories about the city they live in and their experiences?

Most are not “news-makers” – these are people who live lives and have a story to tell and something they want to leave with their family.

Nikki Rottenberg, a retired social worker who went on to re-make herself into an award winning writer, learned of the City’s Matching Fund; applied and was given a grant – she had to raise a portion of the grant on her own.

The grant from the city was to put together a collection of creative works of older adults living in the city.

Voices of the city coverVoices of the City published in August 2020, is an anthology of their fiction and non-fiction stories, poetry, artwork and photography. The youngest contributor is fifty-five years old; the oldest ninety-five.

Most had never been published before. One woman expressed how much it meant to her to be part of the project. “You’ve given me purpose again.”

There are thirty-seven contributors in all including Melodie Campbell, dubbed Queen of Comedy by the Toronto Sun, who wrote two funny pieces, and Benjamin Gleisser, an award winning journalist who submitted a short story. Others include, Margo Jamieson, a professional musician, pianist, singer, photographer Rolly Astrom, a retired Dofasco worker, Mr. Guiling Pan emigrated from Wuhan, China who enjoys drawing and poetry, and Jane Pilling-Cormick, a retired researcher and teacher.

And there are more, many more. Too many to list but all equally skilled in their craft. Some of the works are uplifting, others moving, and inspiring.

The project was supposed to close in May but due to Covid-19 it had to be extended to August. And there could be no celebration as planned. Instead, contributors had to pick up their books in a parking lot, wearing masks and keeping a distance from each other.

Some of the books will be distributed throughout the city at libraries, MP’s offices, City Hall and various community centres for residents of Burlington to enjoy. Copies can also be purchased through The Halton Chapter of CARP. All money from the selling of the books will be going towards advocating for better conditions for those living in long-term care homes.

Rottenberg teamed up with the Halton Chapter of CARP (Canadian Association of Retired People). Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the book ($12) can be in touch with CARP. Send Tom Carrothers a note at:  carphaltonchapter@gmail.com
or give him a call at 905-319-7345

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