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Seniors body PASSCI recognises stalwarts during the COVID-19 pandemic

BY RECY PASCO-AGOO – In the first quarter of 2020, we witnessed the world coming to a standstill, when one by one , each country around the world started to close down their boarders, domestic and international flights were grounded, hospitals were full and maximised to its limit, the shelves of the toilet papers in stores were left empty, masks were a must, hand sanitizers were in demand and so forth and so on.

A typical annual PASSCI celebration in Fairfield, NSW

Countries around the world, including ours had imposed lockdowns in mid- March of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that lasted for months for some countries, and for others,  still trying to flatten the curve of the first wave.

We Australians are fortunate to have a government that was quick and prompt in responding to the pandemic, in controlling the wide spread of the virus and in flattening the curve.

During the lockdown, our PASSCI Management members have devised on how to keep our members connected, entertained, engaged and not feel isolated. It wasn’t as smooth sailing, but we had the determination,  support and the “can do” spirit to create a virtual space where we, members of PASSCI, can be connected, be able to  send messages, share memories and create new ones.  A  Facebook (FB) Private page- the Philippine  Australian Society For Senior Citizens, Inc (PASSCI) was created, members were invited, some were given  “private lessons” on how to set up, use Facebook and Messenger. To date,  we have 46 members who are actively posting, commenting and being entertained by the songs, articles and photos posted  and shared in the page.

Despite of the restrictions due to the  pandemic, it has been a year filled with virtual monthly event celebrations, sharing and tagging of lovely pictures – new ones and those taken from  previous years’ activities, beautiful songs and serenades, display of online poetry,  birthday  and family celebrations, lots of thumbs up, heart and smiles emojis exchanged between members. For those without access to FB or Messenger, we still stay connected via mobile phones or land lines to catch up, listen to their stories and experiences while being at home. There’s still the occasional news update and  letters and greetings cards sent by mail to our members.

All the hard work and contributions made by our members did not go unnoticed. Our President, Jose  Relunia JR (JUN), our active and generous leader made it a point to show us his appreciation. He has given awards to members for their exemplary contributions to the success of our PASSCI group even if we didn’t have face-to-face interactions for the last year and yet survived it by doing it virtually. He has presented the President Pandemic Awards to the following: 

Efren Maalat – for Photography;

Lettie Aguilar – for Kindness and generosity towards Seniors;

Linda Alvarez Barnes – as Model of Compassion towards Seniors;

Recy Pasco Ago – for Managing the Virtual PASSCI activities; and 

Tino Guico – for Entertainment.

Gratitude should go to PASSCI President  Mr Jun Relunia for initiating the recognition and acknowledgment including the distinct plaques of appreciation.

And to all PASSCI members, let’s continue and stay connected. Let us look forward to our first face-to-face get together and meeting for this year on 17 of April 2021 at the Fairfield Community Hall.