"We were not demonstrating against anybody or anything; we were just having a lovely stroll through Memory Lane, seeing what Front Street looks like today as opposed to what it was back then," said Mary Rogers, one of the dozens of senior citizens of the Home Away From Home Foundation who took part in a walk along Front Street that ended at the Government Administration Building Friday, February 22, 2013. The walk was sponsored by TelEm Group of Companies.
Explaining the purpose of the walk, Foundation President, Patsy Flanders said strange as it may sound, "a lot of our seniors have not been through Philipsburg and Front Street in particular for a long time."
"We want to keep them as fit as possible," Flanders continued. "They were happy to walk through Philipsburg. People were excited to see more than 30 senior citizens in wheel-chairs strolling down Front Street. We didn’t have enough wheel-chairs."
"Thanks to TelEm for their support," Flanders said. "They were our biggest sponsor."
The group of senior citizens were accompanied along the route by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin, Minister of Health, Dr. Cornelius de Weever, President of Parliament, drs. Rodolphe Samuel and Independent Member of Parliament, Romain Laville amongst others. Members of the Voice Of Our Children Foundation helped push the wheel-chairs during the walk.
The group stopped at the St. Rose Arcade where they were treated to refreshments donated by TelEm, while children from the Oranje School and St. Joseph School serenaded them with songs.
It was the first time an event of this nature was organized by the Foundation, confirmed Flanders.
"I want to do this every year, with God’s help," she said. "We want to be able to block off the whole of Front Street next time."
The seniors are ready to repeat the walk "tomorrow sef," Flanders said, adding: "they like to be active."
Echoing the sentiments of the rest of the group, Ms. Rogers described the outing as "very good and interesting."
"I would like to see it continue," she said, admitting that initially she had expressed some skepticism about the idea. "I’ll do it again for sure."