More than 120 senior residents gathered at the Lotus River Multipurpose Centre on Wednesday 5 December.Ward 65 councillor Patricia van der Ross says the purpose of the event was to thank the residents for their involvement in the improvement of Lotus River, while also being available for assistance whenever her office has required their help.“Since I started in ward 65 it was a difficult transition (from another ward) and the seniors were one of the groups who accepted me and assisted me throughout the two years as far as we are. This is my way of saying thank you and appreciating them in their worth, because there are two groups here every week on different days and they volunteer here and there, do little things – even if they can’t, they try their best. So I am saying thank you to them and telling them that they must have a blessed Christmas, looking after themselves and their family so that I can see them again next year,” says Van der Ross.The group was treated to a two-course meal while also being entertained by various local talents, but also uplifting one another with motivational talks.Yvonne Williams felt honoured to be part of the occasion and to have been invited to the event.“I am very impressed with our ward councillor. Nathan Amos is awesome, who is the facility officer of the Lotus River Multipurpose Centre. I feel blessed to be here. It is also an honour to be here, having this event for the seniors, because after all we are the pioneers of Lotus River. If it was not for us, the seniors, then this event would not have been here and Lotus River would not be like a city as it is today,” said Williams.Van der Ross implored younger residents to tap into the wealth of knowledge and wisdom the seniors possess.“The community can tap a lot of wisdom from them. There is a lot of energy in them, because when we have marches, community meetings, evening meetings, street meetings, house meetings or whatever we are doing, it is the seniors who are coming and pulling the families together. They just have all the effort, and all of them come from that upbringing. When I have to go to someone to ask questions, I can go to them. If I need a history check then I can go to them and they will be able to assist us,” she says.She adds that the value the group of senior citizens in her ward brings to community upliftment cannot be understated.“They are my stem, my core. When I ask them to give out flyers, they do. They make posters, so we are going to have more appreciation events for them. We are going to have more events to encourage one another to come on board and build Lotus River. That is the bigger plan, but otherwise, regarding ward allocation, we have monthly meetings where we keep them posted on how, when and why things are happening,” she says.Meanwhile, Williams also had a message for the younger generation.“What I would like to share with the youngsters is for them to learn from us. They need to be more respectful towards their parents, grandparents and they must also be an example to their children and community. That is why I can stand here today, because I was an example to my children. I set my foot down and nothing is going to be done in my house without respect. If you stay drug, alcohol free and take up an education then you can make a success of your life. The choices that you make today will determine your future of tomorrow,” said Williams.