SLCAO Seniors Group Meeting

6th of March 2016 at
Heron Gate Community Center
1480 Heron Road, Ottawa


A pledge was made by the current Executive Committee to organize activities for senior members of the community during the Annual General Meeting (SLCAO AGM was held on the 4th of October 2015). A Seniors Group meeting was convened by the SLCAO President with the support the Executive Committee.

The objective of the meeting was to form a Committee to evaluate, design and organize activities for seniors in the Ottawa Sri Lankan community.

At the meeting, SLCAO President, Mr. Anura Ferdinand, addressed the subject of creating activities for seniors, and requested the input of invitee’s. The invitees contributed their views and it was agreed of a NEED to create a Committee to address Seniors Activities as well a need to define a framework for senior activities in the Ottawa Sri Lankan Community. There were discussions that the Committee should be an independent group, managed by seniors, for the seniors. It will be linked to SLCAO EC by Chair of the senior’s activities committee. He/she will attend SLCAO EC meetings and EC members can attend the seniors group meetings.

This plan was accepted by SLCAO President and EC members who were present as it is in line with current established committees. I.e. Sports Committee, Souvenir Committee.

During the course of the meeting, an anonymous vote was cast to select a suitable leader among the members present. We are pleased to announce that Mrs. Ranjini Alwis was voted in and has accepted the position of “Chair – SLCAO Senior Activities Committee” during the course of the meeting. Mr. Nissanga Jayasinghe was also called on to serve the seniors, for which he deferred till December 2016. It was great to see the enthusiasm to participate as well as a progression of leadership in the committee for many years to come.

Mrs. Ranjini Alwis will be officially inducted into the Executive Committee at the next EC meeting. In her absence Mr. Nissanga Jayasinghe or any other committee member will represent the Seniors Activities Committee at Executive Committee meetings.

The committee elected is:

Ranjini Alwis (Chair)
Nissanga Jayasinghe
Keerthi Weerasooriya
Nandani Fernando
Padmini Hapuarachchi
Patrick Silva
Ranjith Galabadaarachchi

The objectives of the new Seniors Group Committee:

1. to support age 55 and over seniors of Sri Lankan community living in the National Capital Region
2. to promote and help maintain the physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing of the members and community Seniors
3. to provide information on available benefits and accessing appropriate services available to Seniors and their families
4. to facilitate a variety of activities to overcome social barriers and isolation of community Seniors including new comers

Age limit: According to SLCAO constitution, “Seniors” are considered as anyone 65 and over. As far as its membership and ticketing purposes the age limit of SLCAO Seniors will remain at age 65 and over. For the purpose of the Seniors Group, it was decided fifty five (55) as the age.

The committee will provide service programming and allow the participation of activities to Sri Lankan Canadians in Ottawa who are 55 years old and over. The families that are hosting the Seniors are welcome to attend any and every event that is organized by the SLCAO Seniors Group. It was agreed to open the events to Seniors as well as any member of the public to attend and benefit.

We also had the privilege of introducing Chaminda Bamunukula Arachchi ,B.A.Sc.(Kin.,& TR), R.Kin.,R/TRO and Angela Helandi, Senior Recreation Programmer to help us create a Wellness Program for Seniors. We were truly blessed to have them volunteer their valued time for a very worthy cause at the meeting. It provided the meeting insights on a need to develop a strategic plan to:
1) Identify seniors at risk
2) Assess senior’s needs
3) Develop a plan

Examples of Programs discussed for seniors as well as young adults:

Physical domain (Tai Chi, Taiga, Yoga, Bacci)
Spiritual domain (Meditation, religious activities)
Cognitive domain (various games, Backgammon, Chess, New Learning Programs, Bridge)
Social domain (Social Tea and sweets, Cinema, Cooking classes, pot luck arrangements, card games, day trips, home visits,picnics)
Creative Domain (arts programs, painting, knitting, sewing. crochet, drama, dance, music programs)

It was agreed to have a special segment at the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year to appreciate the Sri Lankan Seniors in the community. It was very well received by the new committee as well as the invitees.

We will be sending more information on the SLCAO Seniors Group’s Strategic Plan in the coming weeks.

It is with great pleasure that The Executive Committee congratulates and welcomes Mrs. Ranjini Alwis and the SLCAO Seniors Group. We look forward to supporting and working with all of you to build a truly collaborative framework of senior activities in the Ottawa Sri Lankan Community.

If you have any questions, suggestions and/or comments please email Please feel free to forward this email to a senior you know who will benefit from SLCAO Seniors Group. If they wish to subscribe to future emails, please visit and click “Sign-up”.

Thank you!

Executive Committee,
10th March 2016

AGM Link:

SLCAO Long term objectives communication: