BY GAYLE WILSON
Approximately 300 athletes paraded into the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre in Bridgewater during the opening ceremonies of the seventh annual 55+ Games on September 14.
Spread throughout the arena they heard speeches from a number of Games and municipal officials as well as community volunteers, including the two co-chairs, Carroll Randall and Robin Scott; the mayor of the town of Bridgewater, David Mitchell; the mayor of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Carolyn Bolivar-Getson; Joanne Cooper from Events Lunenburg County; and the two honorary chairs of the games, Martha Saunders leading the Oath of the Athletes, and John MacLean leading a prayer.
The Mi'kmaq elder, Peggy Wentzell, sang a prayer while beating a ceremonial drum.
"The main reason for these games is to have fun. And while doing so have the opportunity to meet new friends and renew old friendships," Jerome Tanner, president of the N.S. 55 + Games Society, told the athletes.
"We the seasoned citizens of this province are rapidly increasing every day. And it is in our best interest to make the best possible approach to life. It is hoped these games can be a symbol of the vibrant energy our generation still brings to the table."
The speeches were capped off with some light entertainment, including a performance by band with some of the women athletes called The Mother Pluckers.
The leader of the band, Janice Coyle, who is a member of the board of the 55 + Games Society of Nova Scotia, speculated to LighthouseNOW about a possible reason more of the nearly 800 registered athletes didn't appear at the evening ceremonies.
Noting, as an example, that there is a 100-year-old participating in the event, she said, "You have all these people who are older, they want to go to bed."