Community Papers

Learning for life no longer a secret

By Marlene Robertson

I know I say the same thing each year, but where the heck has 2012 gone.

As we begin 2013, I wonder what kind of new year’s resolutions will be made, and how many will survive the first few days.

I never make them (I probably say this every year as well). I guess I’ve lived long enough to know that a resolution made New Year’s Eve is often a spur of the moment kind of thing and really doesn’t stand a chance of a snowball in the hot place, so I simply decline.

If you have made some resolutions, good luck with seeing them through, especially if they involve butting out, getting more exercise, and taking the ‘learning for life’ pledge.

Learning for life sounds like a lot of work, but those of us who are addicted to it know otherwise, and it’s a secret we’re willing to share. It gives us never-ending ideas to discuss with friends, and family.

It also feeds our hunger to learn, often tackling subjects we didn’t even realize we were interested in, the challenge to take on something completely new, and keep our brains active and firing on all cylinders – or is that synapse?

If you make just one resolution, make it to become a lifelong learner, and an ElderCollege membership makes that a simple and affordable goal.

I had a couple of interesting ‘exposures’ in November and December, thanks to ElderCollege.

The November Saturday One-Stop Talks featured B.C. award winning author Lynne Bowen. Lynne’s book, Whoever Gives Us Bread, The Story of Italians in British Columbia was the subject of her talk, entitled ‘A Dark History: Finding the Hidden Story of Italian Immigration to British Columbia’.

It was a true history lesson for me. I had no idea that more than 26 million Italians immigrated to Canada in the late 1800s, many of them making their home in British Columbia.

They settled all over B.C. and, in fact, helped shape this province. It’s a fascinating story.

In December, I was lucky enough to attend two sessions of Brush Up On Your Downton Abbey History presented by Garvin Moles. The course took a look at the dramatic upheaval and change that overwhelmed England from 1910 to the 1920s. It was so interesting and well presented that I’m eagerly anticipating the new course Moles will be offering in the 2013 fall/winter session, but a word of warning: sign up early since his courses are  popular and always full.

And just a reminder that ElderCollege is still looking for instructors for the May program. For more information on the May short course sessions, please call Regan McKeever at 250-740-6536 or e-mail

For more information on the spring courses or to sign up for a course, call toll free 1-866-734-6252 or e-mail

Let’s just do it.   Happy new year everyone.

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