Seniors of the Year named, celebrated at LSRC

Alice Kennedy, left, and Allan Thain have been named Langley
Alice Kennedy, left, and Allan Thain have been named Langley's Seniors of the Year for 2011. They will be honoured during Seniors Week events at the Langley Senior Resources Centre, beginning on Monday.
— image credit: submitted photos

A pair of seniors who have helped make Langley a better place to live, through their contributions in sport, the arts and community service, will be honoured at the Langley Senior Resources Centre on Monday, June 6.

Langley’s Seniors of the Year for 2011, Allan Thain and Alice Kennedy, will be feted at the centre on Monday with a reception and on Wednesday with a formal dinner.

It is all part of the centre’s annual Seniors Week celebrations.

Kennedy has been an active volunteer for a number of years, at the LSRC, and can be found most days, either helping out at the front desk or or in the cafeteria.

“The staff consider Alice such a helpful all around volunteer that they can ask her to help in just about any way,” wrote her nominators Jean and Alan Gregson.

As a member of the senior readers group, Kennedy spends time helping students in Grades 1 to 5 at Blacklock Fine Arts Elementary School hone their reading skills.

She also volunteers with the Nicomekl Elementary School breakfast program, serving bagels and juice, or helping to gather warm clothing, socks and gloves for students who need them.

Along with her late husband, George, Kennedy, 71,  has a long history of community involvement and volunteer work,  whether it was taking part in the community handbell choir or helping with the Provincial Emergency Program.

Her long list of volunteer activities also includes packing and delivering Christmas hampers for the Langley Christmas Bureau and building sets for church choral productions at Sharon United Church, where she attends services.

She is a member of Friends of the Langley City Library, where she helps out with book sales and other events and has helped out at Langley Community Days and the annual Terry Fox Run.

After playing doubles badminton with her husband for more than 25 years, Kennedy remains an active table tennis player, bringing home multiple medals from the B.C. Seniors Games.

“Alice is a wonderful woman, with a great attitude toward life, and a faithful, dedicated volunteer for her community,” wrote the Gregsons.

“Alice takes leadership, is willing to help in any capacity, is fun and builds up others,” added the Senior Centre’s volunteer co-ordinator, Janice McTaggart.

As an active Rotarian and Langley Lodge board member, Thain has been involved in a number of community projects in the five years he has called Langley home, but he is perhaps best known for his tireless promotion of the arts.

He is the president of the Langley Arts Council and in 2009, he founded Bard in the Valley — a theatre company which mounts a Shakespeare production each summer in Douglas Park and offers youth theatre workshops, specifically for at-risk children.

He has also been recognized on numerous occasions by the theatre community for his contributions, both as an actor and director.

Thain was flexing his volunteer muscles long before he came to Langley, however, working with the United Way, YWMCA National Special Olympics and numerous community agencies.

Thain was nominated by Diane Gendron, also an active member of  Langley’s theatre community.

“I’ve known Allan for several years and I am constantly impressed by his vision, inclusiveness and talent,” Gendron wrote.

“Allan has an infectious energy, he gives his all to his projects and he’s a terrific team builder.”

The 73-year-old Thain said Rotary’s motto of “service above self” is the best way to describe his motivation.

“I do it because I love the theatre and the arts,” he said.

“I am really honoured they would think of me.”

The accolade came as a surprise to Thain who was quick to share the credit.

“This is an award also, for the people who work with me,” he said, “the young people who are in the plays, and the young at heart.”

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