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Anthology “Senior Stories” Volume No. 8

BY EVELYN OPILAS – Twelve narratives in a recently-launched seniors’ anthology, called Senior Stories Volume no, 8, had been translated into their authors’ identified language/.

Filipino seniors

The collection of 100 stories was written by seniors throughout New South Wales, explored the theme ‘Celebrating Diversity’ in the 2022 edition. It was launched Wednesday 2 Nov 2022 at the NSW Parliament House on Macquarie Street, Sydney.

The author’s story, “Harvard ex situ During COVID-19”—translated into Filipino as “Harvard ex situ sa Panahon ng COVID-19”—explores how the mantra of 16th century Doctor of the Catholic Church St Teresa of Avila (Spain) “Let nothing disturb you…”—inculcated during the author’s school days at St Theresa’s College Quezon City—helped deal with two years of isolation, strict compliance and self-preservation during the pandemic. It would pushed the author to enrol in the free online Justice course at Harvard University, which attracted over 400,000 participants worldwide.

Senior citizens at NSW Parlieament last 2 November 2022

Mr Clayton Smithwick, project officer of Card Operations Partnerships at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, said Seniors Stories Volume 8 “was the first time we have asked authors to identify a language spoken other than English.”

NSW Seniors Card introduced the writing competition in 2013, with the top 100 stories selected for each edition. Published copies are distributed to the authors and libraries across the State, he explained.

In his message, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet MP said the book “offers a dazzling portrait of our State in all its extraordinary diversity, a treasure trove of history, wit, wisdom and colour.”

“By writing and telling stories, we gain an appreciation of the diversity that exists in our local communities,” said Mr Mark Coure MP, Minister for Seniors and Minister for Multiculturalism.

Writer Jean Kittson emceed the program while Mr Nathan Moran of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, delivered the Welcome to Country.

The other authors whose stories were translated into their spoken languages were:

Amharic–Teklemariam Birbirsa (Merrylands West), On the Night of the Exhibition

French—Wendy Gordon (Cranebrook), Harmony – a Blending of Different Notes

French–Philip Immaraj (Cromer), The Anzac Day Service

German—Ilona Krueger (South Penrith), The Button Box

Greek—Evgenia Klitsas (Brighton Le Sands), With Vanya… Or No Party All!

Macedonian—Emilia Todorova (Rhodes), When The Moon Landed in Skopje

Polish–Irene Lojszczyk (Eleebana), Celebrating Diversity in Retirement

Spanish—De Las Rosas (Redfern), Ana, Bianca and Stella

Traditional Chinese—Fan Zhang (Chatswood), Antiques made me quickly adapt to Life in Australia

Urdu–Prof Mohammad A Kamal (Hebersham), Life Journey of a Pakistani Scientist

Vietnamese/Chinese—Van Giang (Lindfield), Gifts

Perhaps more Aussie-Filipinos could contribute to future editions of Seniors Stories, and reinforce the traits Filipinos are known for—strong family ties, faith, adaptability, generosity and respect for the elderly. – ends