A group of women from the Gatesville Seniors’ Club were honoured for their contributions in the community, during a special one-hour ceremony held at Rylands Civic Centre last Thursday.Mayco member for safety, security and social services JP Smith was present to show his appreciation, for the value they add, and rendered a few words of encouragement.Smith also brought along with him a choir consisting of the City of Cape Town’s Traffic and Law Enforcement departments, who performed songs of appreciation and celebration.“We very often forget that these seniors who sit around this table are from those who built the city to what it is today,” explained Smith.“They (seniors) were extremely patient with us when we were small and annoying children, asking too many questions. Yet today it is very easy for our youth to become impatient with them.“Today, older people around us are often seen as not useful to our immediate needs, and this is really sad. The society should respect our seniors and should shield them from all kinds of abuse. “There is a great value in our communities. This is the value provided by the elderly who always have more advice and life experience, of several decades. We continue to commit and engage with them.”Fowzia Veerasamy, the chairperson of the seniors’ club, said: “We are extremely grateful for Smith’s efforts. We gather here every week to keep the seniors busy, and Smith’s surprise visit was beyond our expectations.“I thank him for putting a smile on the faces of these senior women. They enjoyed the beautiful singing choir, especially the songs in Xhosa. We also saw another side of these traffic and Law Enforcement officials, other than getting fines from them,” she said.“I also want to express my gratitude to the Rylands Library staff and other local groups, for always going beyond the boundary to assist our seniors in Athlone,” she added.Smith urged the seniors to keep themselves active with community projects.“I think it is very important to remain active as we grow older, and to especially remain active in community projects and discussions. “It is also important for our seniors to put themselves out there. Just because you are older, doesn’t mean you don’t own the centre stage any more. “Speak up and tackle issues – I welcome your participation in uplifting our society,” he added.