Fair puts a positive spin on ageing

Published: 22 Aug 2019

Councillors racing mobility scooters, miniature gardens, bracelets made from recycled goods and creating a Cairns landscape from Lego are just some of the events seniors will be able to get involved with at tomorrow’s (Friday 23 August) Positive Ageing Fair at Cannon Park Racecourse.

There is plenty for attendees to do at this year’s Fair with a full program of entertainment, workshops and hands-on activities.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said that as we grow older it was important to stay active, socialise and of course have some fun.Councillors Brett Olds and Max O’Halloran test drive the mobility scooters ahead of tomorrow’s Positive Ageing Fair.

“Getting older does not mean that you should stop enjoying life,” Cr Manning said.

“You need to be able to find things you are passionate about, keep your sense of humour and enjoy a laugh.

“The Positive Ageing Fair helps people learn about the services and activities available to seniors, mixed in with some fun novelty events.

“There’s a wooden hobby horse race, a puppy race and, personally, I can’t wait to take on some of my fellow Councillors in the mobility scooter race.”

Cr Manning is set to clash with Councillors Brett Olds, Cathy Zeiger and Linda Cooper, and 4CA radio presenter Murray Jones in the mobility scooter race, one of the highlights of the event.

The 500 free lunch tickets were snapped up quickly again this year, as were the 160 tickets to the new high tea event featuring a theatre musical performer – but that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy the packed event program and free cuppa.

Seniors are also being encouraged to get into the racing theme with Fashions on the Field – prizes are on offer for both women and men.

The Fair has a host of informative and hand-on workshops covering a range of topics including health and wellbeing, internet safety, tips on being prepared for an emergency, how to get involved in volunteering and a host of new crafts to learn.

Using ceramic pots of all shapes and sizes rescued from landfill by the team at the Buyback Shop, seniors can create miniature gardens using native violets propagated at Council’s Stratford Nursery.

The Junk Weavers workshop will also see an emphasis on recycling with coffee bags, collected from cafes around the city, repurposed and reshaped to create bracelets.

Attendees will get the chance to help recreate a piece of Cairns’ history using Lego, under the guidance of local enthusiast Luke Kotai.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Positive Ageing Fair was founded by Cairns resident John Ehm, who said he was delighted to have seen the event grow from humble beginnings.

“There was a vacant need in the wider community for seniors to come together to enjoy fellowship, have some fun together, and talk face-to-face with organisations that provided sound information on future retirement plans,” Mr Ehm said.

“I am happy and delighted to see mini buses bringing seniors with walkers and wheel chairs from aged care homes and to see more and more stall holders taking advantage of free entry to showcase their services.”

Mr Ehm said that the event was just as relevant and important today as it was a decade ago.

“With the Australian population in the over-60 age bracket growing, with a peak of about one-in-four Aussies by the year 2030, positive ageing fairs like this have a very important role to provide seniors with sound face-to-face information,” he said.

Fact file

  • Founded 10 years ago by Cairns resident John Ehm, The Positive Ageing Fair is a free event open to anyone over 55 years.
  • The Fair encourages seniors and their carers or family members to get out and about, gain information on a range of topics, and learn skills.
  • There are over 60 stalls at this year’s event, as well as a host of hands-on and informative workshops.
  • The oldest resident expected to be attending tomorrow’s event is Harold Gibbins, who this year will celebrate his 100th birthday.
  • Sponsors of the event are Regis Aged Care (major sponsor) and Infin8 Healthcare, with Cairns Golf Club, Complete Mobility and 4CA among others providing assistant and prizes.
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Last updated: 22 August 2019