In keeping with the season of goodwill, students of the La Brea RC School went yesterday to the nearby Helena Charles Home for Senior Citizens to interact with the elders, with whom they shared meals and conversations.
The Standard Five students, accompanied by their teacher and principal, Carleen Peters-Martin and Laura Chen respectively, went to the home at Pier Road, Pt D’Or in La Brea. They sang songs and chatted with the residents who are between the ages of 57 and 95.
The principal explained that since the inception of the home, the school has been assisting in whatever way it can to put smiles of the faces of the elderly. Apart from the lunch and entertainment, the school yesterday distributed hampers and snack packs.
Chen said: “This today is something for the students to recognise that this (adulthood) is a stage of life. Children have a tendency to be wary around old people. Today they eat, sit and chat with the elderly. It is nice that two of the students have relatives in here. One has a great-grandmother and the other, a great-grand aunt.”
Secretary of the board of directors and part-owner of the home, Augustine Pascall, 79, also attended. He is a retired principal at the South Oropouche RC School and a former teacher, vice principal and acting principal at the La Brea RC School.
Chen added that her school helps Pascall “as much as he needs in the home.”
Pascall noted that the home houses 19 people but has a capacity of 28.
He recalled that since 1932, there existed a (now defunct) home at High Road in La Brea called the poor house and the La Brea Senior Citizens Home. For 32 years a woman named Helena Charles served as matron and so the home was named in her honour.
“That former building was vandalised and eventually demolished. Helena Charles died before this building was officially opened on June 7, 2011.
“When we relocated here we came with five of the residents. Three of them died and the other two are blind,” Pascall said.
He added: “We do not take in people who are disabled, but if they do come and became disabled, we will keep them.”