This article is from the September 2014 Issue of Forever Young


 The Church of San Michelle is one of many inside Lucca’s walls.

This year we decided to try something different. We have been to Provence half a dozen times, and loved it, but there is a big world out there, and it was time to see something new.

By Steve Tuck. Photography by Terry Tuck

We decided upon Tuscany, not only because it is very much like Provence, but because of the cultural aspects --- after all, Florence is truly the centre of Renaissance Civilisation. Searching out various “special” places to visit, we happened upon an article in the Globe and Mail’s Saturday Travel section that advised one to “skip Pisa and go to Lucca”! Well, it wasn’t only trying to get travelers out of the chock-a-block full of sightseers usual haunts, but also turned out to be very sage advice. For instance, Lucca is certainly a precious gem, unique in so many ways! (And, in just 22 minutes, you can still drive to Pisa, it’s that close! And, the Leaning Tower and environs are worth seeing, too!)

Lucca is rare as it not only houses many works of art --- as do so many Italian towns, villages and cities --- but its history remains almost perfectly intact. Dating back to Roman times, it remains a typically Roman medieval city, with few major changes over the years. Much of this was due to a rather unique part of its history, namely the building at different periods of FOUR walls around the city! These mighty city walls have been one of the key reasons for Lucca remaining intact and not destroyed by re-development, as has happened in many places. It would not have been easy to destroy these walls, and the citizens love them! Only some parts of the first three walls remain intact, however it is the last built that citizens of Lucca and tourists enjoy the most!

The last wall extends 4200 metres around the city. Built to withstand cannon fire, it is a bulwark of stones (the locals brought cartloads of stone to build) and is wide enough that there are parks, roadways, trees, and a virtual greenspace which is so large that it can be seen as a big green circle surrounding the entire city when flying over! Nowadays one of THE pastimes is to rent a bike and ride around the whole city, giving a great view from a sort of second floor (or higher) level. There were fortifications, including underground vaults for storing munitions; 126 cannons that were in place until 1799 when the Austrians removed them; a ditch around, like a moat; and other means of resisting an attack. The irony of all this was that none was ever used to defend the town from the enemy, but in 1812, the gates were closed to protect the town from the River Serchio as it overflowed its banks. Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Bonaparte Baciochi, who was in charge of this area at the time, had to be levered over the walls by a crane to escape the floods! Nowadays, the parks, gardens, and promenade on top of these ramparts make Lucca very special indeed.

This article is from the August 2014 Issue of Forever Young



What happens when you take a small rural community with a population of roughly 4,800 and open up the city’s gates to have 150,000 people flood through over the span of five days? Just ask the City of Armstrong, B.C.

by Glenna Turnbull

Coming up August 27 to 31, Armstrong will play host to the 115th annual IPE fair – the Interior Provincial Exhibition – an event older than Armstrong itself. And while new things get added to keep the fair current each year, one thing that has never changed is the way the community pulls together and volunteer their time to make it all work.

Jeanne Noble Harder was born and raised in Armstrong and after volunteering at the fair for some 20 years or more is now the president of the IPE. Like so many others in this small rural city, volunteering at the fair has become a way of life.

“Our family business always displayed at the fair,” said Harder, who comes from the Noble Tractor family. Helping out at the fair was not only expected but something to look forward to. And as she grew up and started having a family of her own, she found herself volunteering at the Boy Scouts’ fair concession, “and I just kept on, even after the kids had grown out of it.”

It is estimated that there are about 450 to 475 individuals who volunteer at the fair but as for the total number of volunteers, it’s really impossible to say. Bryan Burns, the general manager of the IPE, says that’s because of the huge number of service groups, sports teams, churches and other non-profit organizations that volunteer their time every year. “We have about 30 non-profit groups who are either running food concessions or doing a contract such as garbage pick up or looking after the parking lot, where all the money they earn goes directly towards their club.”

This article is from the July 2014 Issue of Forever Young

 July2014 July 1994 cover


Forever Young Celebrates 20 Years in B.C.

by Steven Tuck, Publisher/Owner

How time does fly! Forever Young turns 20 years young with the publication of this issue.

Although started with a different name, Today’s Seniors, it is the same! Over the years it became obvious that “senior” was not a term that resonated with a lot of folks. In fact, although looking for the benefits of being qualified for perhaps a discount, even that varied from 55 to 60 or 65 years of age. In reality, we often hear that “75 or 80” is what we used to consider a lot younger, maybe even 60 or 65. Like good wine or cheese, we all like to think we’re getting better with age!

In the media world, being around for 20 years is in itself becoming an achievement! Indeed, in the Southern Interior of B.C., many publications have come and gone in that same period. So we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.

But we realise that to be successful for such a long time requires a special TEAM of folks who work to produce this publication each month.

It only seems right to say a big THANK YOU to our National Editor, Don Wall, who provides us with fantastic Cover Stories each month. One story that comes to mind, about just how important our Cover Story is, was an advertiser called me to relate how he had asked a home buyer where she had seen his advertisement. She couldn’t remember the name of the publication, but it was neither of the local newspapers, “No, it was the one with the big pictures of celebrities on the cover. Elvis was on the cover this month!” So, he told me he was now going to call us “The Elvis Presley newspaper!” Don also produces a lot of the national stories that not only run in our B.C. edition, but in the other 10 editions in the country.

Then everything has to be put together. That has fallen to a number of folks over the years, but for the past many, many years, it has been Nancy Blow in our Composing Room who so ably looks after advertisers (they all sing her praises!) and then works with me to place the stories on the pages and does so much creative to make Forever Young what it is! There are others who help Nancy out from time to time, so our thanks to all of them, too!

Of course, the production of the paper has been done by Black Press and a big THANK YOU to all of the people in the production areas, in particular the pressroom. We continually have great remarks about the quality of the reproduction of Forever Young. Our newsmagazine has been on Black presses in Penticton, Kelowna and now Vernon, and all have served us admirably!

From the press our papers go to high traffic locations, like grocery stores, pharmacies, credit unions, and many other places. Our delivery personnel ensure timely deliveries through all kinds of weather. Some have been with us for the whole 20 years!

This article is from the June 2014 Issue of Forever Young

 2014 June Escape DDay

ZOn their trip to Normandy 10 years ago, Derek and his daughter Jessica posed with a D-Day veteran who was wearing his own vintage WW2 uniform. The Halls return to the scene in June.

A father and daughter will attend ceremonies in France to mark the D-Day invasion that signalled the end of the Second World War

by Ellen Ashton-Haiste

Derek Hall recalls the moment.

A parade of aging veterans paraded in front of the memorial at Juno Beach in Normandy, the site where 156,000 Allied troops landed on June 6, 1944, in the largest amphibious attack in history that marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War and the liberation of Western Europe.

The crowds surrounding the memorial erupted in a standing ovation that lasted some 20 minutes.

“It was absolutely powerful,” Hall says.

That was the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. Derek Hall, now 67, and daughter Jessica were in attendance. The pair will again travel to France for this year’s 70th-anniversary ceremonies.

He expects this experience will be much different from a decade ago. “There were probably 1,500 veterans attending that one and, at that time, the average age was about 83 years.” There are fewer surviving and those who are may have difficulty travelling that distance, he notes, although government subsidies are available for any veteran wanting to make the pilgrimage.

A highlight of the 60th anniversary, for Hall and Jessica, was meeting Vancouver resident Ernest Alvia “Smokey” Smith, the last living Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, who fought in the Italian campaign.

“I think there were only 40 or 50 VCs awarded to Canadians,” he says. “So, when you’re talking to a guy like that, the only remaining one … well, these guys are heroes.”

Although Hall, a retired banking executive who now lives in Vernon, B.C., wasn’t even born at the time of the historic invasion, he has a strong appreciation for the military. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather were professional soldiers in the Scotland’s Black Watch, an elite regiment with a history stretching back almost three centuries. His father was a member of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Winnipeg and an infantry instructor during the war. And his wife’s father was in the Royal Canadian Navy, stationed on a minesweeper tasked with clearing mines out of the English Channel ahead of the D-Day invasion.

This article is from the May 2014 Issue of Forever Young


 (Left to right) Dr. Curtis Myden, Dr. Jeremy Harris, Dr. Derek Plausinis, Dr. Paul Mick and Dr. Shaun Deen have all just arrived at Kelowna General Hospital as the Interior Health Authority builds out its program for the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre.

An olympian, a cellist, a yoga-loving researcher; there is plenty of talent in Kelowna General’s new surgical hires

by Jennifer Smith

With the mint green front panel of its brand new medical school pointing toward thick rows of scaffolding, one can feel the frenetic pace of progress on approach at Kelowna General Hospital.

Even the thin veneer of dust cannot take the shine off the sense of hope the massive expansion of this hospital has brought to the community.

Yet it’s really the doctors behind the glass walls who offer the best taste of the possibility to come, particularly for the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre.

“We’re trying to build a centre of excellence that’s a resource for people from across the Southern Interior,” says Dr. Paul Mick, an ear, nose and throat specialist who polished his medical training with a master’s degree in public health at Harvard University.

Mick is interested in the big picture problems bringing patients to his door and sought out groundbreaking researcher Dr. Frank Lin as a mentor in Boston.

“I think the problem of hearing loss in older people is sort of under appreciated,” he explained. “It’s looked at as unfortunate, but inconsequential.”

Lin’s hypothesis suggests the cognitive overload a patient whose hearing is failing experiences trying to sort out sounds leaves them less brainpower to take meaning from words. As it was explained in the New York Times, when medical journalists started taking notice, he’s out to prove there is a critical link between hearing loss and the onset of dementia—something to ponder in this era of iPod-loving music fiends and stereos built to blast.

For a yoga enthusiast and culture buff like Mick, finding a new surgical program in a lively smaller city where he too can contribute to the larger dialogue in his field was enough reason to pack up his Nissan Sentra and drive almost 4000 kilometres back to his home province.

He is also one of a handful of new surgeons who have just been hired at KGH and has high hopes for the job.