This article is from the November 2014 Issue of Forever Young

 2014-Nov-HotChocChristmas

 Valley First staff serve hot chocolate to clients of the Kelowna Community Food Bank during Christmas hamper distribution.

Looking into this family’s cupboard, it looked well stocked. But if you were to pick up one of the boxes, you’d discover it was actually empty.

By Glenna Turnbull

When it comes to helping end hunger in the Okanagan, Valley First’s Feed the Valley program is helping all sorts of people – some you’d never realize even needed help.

“We had a mother coming in and with two children,” recalled Lenetta Parry, executive director of the Kelowna and Westside Food Bank,” and they had no food.”

The woman was too afraid to tell her husband their meals were coming from the food bank, Parry said, “She told me she actually kept empty boxes in the cupboard so friends and family wouldn’t know they were in such need.”

Last year, more than 94,000 people were assisted in British Columbia by food banks. At least 27,000 of those were children and Parry noted, there is an ever increasing number of seniors requiring help as well, with their fixed incomes just not keeping up with inflation. Other clients include students trying to survive on student loans, working families that just can’t get ahead and singles struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Thankfully, here in the Okanagan, our local food banks have a community partner supporting them in Valley First with their Feed the Valley program.

“People who come to the food bank are often going through life’s greatest challenges,” said Parry, “and many of us are just two pay cheques away from needing the food bank.”

Feed the Valley is a community investment program that was designed by the Valley First team back in March 2010. “It was looked at from a perspective of going into the communities we serve and trying to understand the social issues affecting them. The one thing that kept coming up over and over again was hunger,” said Susan Byrom, Community Investment Manager for Valley First.

This article is from the October 2014 Issue of Forever Young

 FYng Oct 2014 monks

 

Travel has been a lifelong passion of mine and several years ago I established a travel bucket list led by Vietnam!

By Claudia Viani

At long last, I was fortunate to travel to Vietnam. Our journey proved to be everything I expected and more. I discovered and enjoyed an amazing country, people and cuisine.

After a long but comfortable flight via Seoul, we started our 2 week trek in Hanoi.  Now the modern day capital of North Vietnam, it still maintains the mystery and charm of past centuries.   There we visited highlights such as the American War Museum, and Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh including the gardens of his former residence. We also viewed his simple 2 room Stilt House situated within a peaceful park like setting, including a serene lake well stocked with the largest Koi I have ever seen.

Hanoi exudes an air of elegance comprising of charming public spaces, lakes and tree lined boulevards.  Their famous Dong Xuan Market provides street after street of merchants that sell everything from food, to herbal medicines, hardware, household items, clothing and more. Since most of the merchants live in the back or upper floors of their shops, life simply happens before you (as people visit, drink tea, watch the world go by and someone is always cooking).

Vietnam is actually a haven for shopping lovers and specifically market fans.  Street markets are inherent to the Vietnamese culture and lifestyle of the country where one can buy almost anything.  What to buy?  Pearls, local lacquered handicrafts, silk clothing (have something made especially for you), local art and paintings (check out the Golden Fish Gallery in Hoi An Old Town… www.titingallery.com), traditional Vietnamese hats and lanterns.

Not long after our arrival my very first local culinary experience was Pho. It was prepared and served at our hotel along with North American and continental style fare at breakfast.  I was hooked at first bite, and thus began the culinary part of my adventure.   Later that morning during our visit to the Yen Phu flower market I also discovered the exotic and delicious jack fruit!  From there I made it my mission to try and enjoy at least one new dish every day, which turned out to be a very easy goal to accomplish.

I must clarify… I have enjoyed Vietnamese food for years, and there is nothing like eating it in-country.  In Hanoi we enjoyed lunch at a unique local restaurant called KOTO. KOTO stands for “Know One, Teach One”: learning should be passed on. Knowledge is there to be shared.  KOTO was created by a Vietnamese-Australian in Hanoi over 10 years ago with the opening of a training centre in hospitality. The sole purpose of providing disadvantaged youth the possibility to learn towards a better life.  Today they run two restaurants (including “Pots & Pans” where we enjoyed yet another amazing dining experience), an online bakery, cooking classes and a catering service.

Here are just a few of their delicious and unforgettable menu items:  Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaves; Prawn on Sugar Cane (one of Vietnam’s popular dishes), Non Du Du – Green Papaya Salad with Roasted Beef.  I discovered Vietnamese Cuisine consists of fresh ingredients with unique combinations of herbs, and when mixed together create an exotic yet light Asian cuisine.

This article is from the September 2014 Issue of Forever Young

 2014-Sept-Church

 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

 2014-August-WestcoastRide

 

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!