Hsinchu seniors take to the stage to tell their stories 新竹阿公阿嬤初登台 演自己的故事

Tue, Nov 05, 2013 - Page 11

Hsinchu City’s first care station for seniors — Jinshan Community Care Station — is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Around 80 seniors and volunteers have been working together over the past decade at the station, courting excellent national reviews every year. The average age of seniors at the station is 80. Two weeks ago they took to the stage for their “Life Stories Theater,” in which each of them play a lead role while acting out personal stories.

Among them, 94-year-old Chin Ting-hua is considered to be the “eldest brother” of the group. Last year he had coronary surgery and suddenly lost 39kg, but now he plays drums, does magic tricks, goes around on tour giving volunteer performances with the group, and even volunteers to take care of his peers at nursing centers. Chin’s sprightly and active demeanor serves as affirmation of the station’s benefits.

The Jinshan community is a place where Hoklo, Hakka, residents from military dependents’ villages and people from other areas that work in the tech field all converge, making it a unique community. The event vehicle for the city government’s “Military Dependents Village Art Season” arrived here two weeks ago, serving to highlight the stellar achievements of the community care station that have allowed it to win national accolades every year.

Science City Community University president Lee Shih-ying led the seniors from the station during a rehearsal for the long-awaited “Life Stories Theater” show, which is a play full of anecdotes about the decade since founding of the station, and whether it be buying groceries, performing magic tricks, doing calisthenics or drumming and singing, they all gave vivid, natural performances and filled the venue with laughter. After all, these are the tidbits of their life at the care station.

The Jinshan Community Care Station was established 10 years ago by Duan Hsiao-fang, former president of the Jinshan Community Development Association, and is currently run by her husband Lee Shao-tang. The couple shelled out money and energy, and served as instructors for magic and percussion classes, but they are most grateful for contributions from volunteers. The care station also offers workout classes, takes people’s blood-pressure, and gives sign language and singing lessons, as well as complimentary lunches during class twice a week.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)