FOCUS ON SENIORS: Brant senior walks the walk

Opinion Jul 03, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

Seventy-nine-year-old Les Payne made a commitment to himself.  

“Nine years ago I decided that I wanted to get into shape,” Payne said. “I wouldn’t stand still.”  

At the time, Payne had lost his wife Elaine, who passed away at age 69 to cancer.   

Payne was still working. A businessman, he owned C.E. Payne Fuel and Jim’s Maintenance Service.  

Now, nine years later Payne has maintained his personal pledge.  

“I walk with the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre walking club every Tuesday and Thursday each week,” Payne said. “I have been doing this since I retired five years ago.”  

The Tuesday walk is always in Brantford, while the Thursday outing is to a walking destination somewhere outside the County of Brant.

“Tuesdays we walk for an hour and a half at places such as the Gilkison Flats, along the dike, or the trails beside the Grand River,” Payne said. “Thursdays we like to set aside for a walk outside the community. Sometimes it is alongside the waterfalls in Dundas or perhaps the Cambridge trails.”  

Twice each year the walking club members hike the trail between Simcoe and Port Dover.  

“One of the most beautiful walks we have discovered is the new trail at the brow of Hamilton Mountain that works its way down to Dundurn Castle. It is gorgeous,” Payne said.   

But Payne keeps coming back to the trail system in Brantford and Brant.  

“Right here in Brantford and Brant County is absolutely the best for walkers,” Payne said. “We have a very, very walkable community.”  

Others with the Beckett building walking club agree.

Each organized outing attracts about 30 members – including those who are slower walkers and those who maintain a faster pace.

The participants tend to break into groups based on their pace and many carry walking sticks for stability.  

The Grand River Council on Aging developed a Master Aging Plan for Brantford and Brant based on eight age-friendly pillars identified by the World Health Organization – including outdoors spaces and public buildings.  

Payne says Brantford-Brant is, “Right up there at the top when it comes to providing convenient, safe walking areas for seniors.”  

“As a walking club we are on the lookout for any obstacles and when we identify one the municipal officials are quick to respond,” he said.

“For instance, tree stumps and large roots creeping out over a trail or sidewalk can be problematic for seniors when they are walking.

“When we come across something that needs some attention we contact the authorities and things are tended to.”  

And members of the community aren’t afraid to pitch in and help. One time, volunteers with the Eagle Place Community Association cleaned an area, picking up seven bags of debris.    

Many years ago, Mohawk Lake in Brantford was a focal point for citizens to gather outdoors. The push by Brant MP Phil McColeman to prioritize cleaning up the area has led to a grassroots initiative involving many volunteers. Payne is one of them.  

“Mohawk Lake is a beautiful spot that has been ignored for too many years,” Payne said. “Imagine being able to have boat ramps and fishing right in the heart of the city? That would be wonderful.”

Payne serves on the board of the Beckett building walking club, and also volunteers in other community initiatives.

“When Elaine passed away I decided that I had to make a life for myself,” he said.

Payne not only walks the walk. He talks the talk.

The Grand River Council on Aging, with the leadership of Brant MPP Dave Levac, are currently hosting a series of community gatherings to hear citizen’s views on aging in Brantford-Brant. To learn more and to participate please visit the Grand River Council on Aging website at www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Brant senior walks the walk

Brantford-Brant ranks highly as walkable community

Opinion Jul 03, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

Seventy-nine-year-old Les Payne made a commitment to himself.  

“Nine years ago I decided that I wanted to get into shape,” Payne said. “I wouldn’t stand still.”  

At the time, Payne had lost his wife Elaine, who passed away at age 69 to cancer.   

Payne was still working. A businessman, he owned C.E. Payne Fuel and Jim’s Maintenance Service.  

Now, nine years later Payne has maintained his personal pledge.  

“I walk with the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre walking club every Tuesday and Thursday each week,” Payne said. “I have been doing this since I retired five years ago.”  

The Tuesday walk is always in Brantford, while the Thursday outing is to a walking destination somewhere outside the County of Brant.

“Tuesdays we walk for an hour and a half at places such as the Gilkison Flats, along the dike, or the trails beside the Grand River,” Payne said. “Thursdays we like to set aside for a walk outside the community. Sometimes it is alongside the waterfalls in Dundas or perhaps the Cambridge trails.”  

Twice each year the walking club members hike the trail between Simcoe and Port Dover.  

“One of the most beautiful walks we have discovered is the new trail at the brow of Hamilton Mountain that works its way down to Dundurn Castle. It is gorgeous,” Payne said.   

But Payne keeps coming back to the trail system in Brantford and Brant.  

“Right here in Brantford and Brant County is absolutely the best for walkers,” Payne said. “We have a very, very walkable community.”  

Others with the Beckett building walking club agree.

Each organized outing attracts about 30 members – including those who are slower walkers and those who maintain a faster pace.

The participants tend to break into groups based on their pace and many carry walking sticks for stability.  

The Grand River Council on Aging developed a Master Aging Plan for Brantford and Brant based on eight age-friendly pillars identified by the World Health Organization – including outdoors spaces and public buildings.  

Payne says Brantford-Brant is, “Right up there at the top when it comes to providing convenient, safe walking areas for seniors.”  

“As a walking club we are on the lookout for any obstacles and when we identify one the municipal officials are quick to respond,” he said.

“For instance, tree stumps and large roots creeping out over a trail or sidewalk can be problematic for seniors when they are walking.

“When we come across something that needs some attention we contact the authorities and things are tended to.”  

And members of the community aren’t afraid to pitch in and help. One time, volunteers with the Eagle Place Community Association cleaned an area, picking up seven bags of debris.    

Many years ago, Mohawk Lake in Brantford was a focal point for citizens to gather outdoors. The push by Brant MP Phil McColeman to prioritize cleaning up the area has led to a grassroots initiative involving many volunteers. Payne is one of them.  

“Mohawk Lake is a beautiful spot that has been ignored for too many years,” Payne said. “Imagine being able to have boat ramps and fishing right in the heart of the city? That would be wonderful.”

Payne serves on the board of the Beckett building walking club, and also volunteers in other community initiatives.

“When Elaine passed away I decided that I had to make a life for myself,” he said.

Payne not only walks the walk. He talks the talk.

The Grand River Council on Aging, with the leadership of Brant MPP Dave Levac, are currently hosting a series of community gatherings to hear citizen’s views on aging in Brantford-Brant. To learn more and to participate please visit the Grand River Council on Aging website at www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Brant senior walks the walk

Brantford-Brant ranks highly as walkable community

Opinion Jul 03, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

Seventy-nine-year-old Les Payne made a commitment to himself.  

“Nine years ago I decided that I wanted to get into shape,” Payne said. “I wouldn’t stand still.”  

At the time, Payne had lost his wife Elaine, who passed away at age 69 to cancer.   

Payne was still working. A businessman, he owned C.E. Payne Fuel and Jim’s Maintenance Service.  

Now, nine years later Payne has maintained his personal pledge.  

“I walk with the Beckett Adult Leisure Centre walking club every Tuesday and Thursday each week,” Payne said. “I have been doing this since I retired five years ago.”  

The Tuesday walk is always in Brantford, while the Thursday outing is to a walking destination somewhere outside the County of Brant.

“Tuesdays we walk for an hour and a half at places such as the Gilkison Flats, along the dike, or the trails beside the Grand River,” Payne said. “Thursdays we like to set aside for a walk outside the community. Sometimes it is alongside the waterfalls in Dundas or perhaps the Cambridge trails.”  

Twice each year the walking club members hike the trail between Simcoe and Port Dover.  

“One of the most beautiful walks we have discovered is the new trail at the brow of Hamilton Mountain that works its way down to Dundurn Castle. It is gorgeous,” Payne said.   

But Payne keeps coming back to the trail system in Brantford and Brant.  

“Right here in Brantford and Brant County is absolutely the best for walkers,” Payne said. “We have a very, very walkable community.”  

Others with the Beckett building walking club agree.

Each organized outing attracts about 30 members – including those who are slower walkers and those who maintain a faster pace.

The participants tend to break into groups based on their pace and many carry walking sticks for stability.  

The Grand River Council on Aging developed a Master Aging Plan for Brantford and Brant based on eight age-friendly pillars identified by the World Health Organization – including outdoors spaces and public buildings.  

Payne says Brantford-Brant is, “Right up there at the top when it comes to providing convenient, safe walking areas for seniors.”  

“As a walking club we are on the lookout for any obstacles and when we identify one the municipal officials are quick to respond,” he said.

“For instance, tree stumps and large roots creeping out over a trail or sidewalk can be problematic for seniors when they are walking.

“When we come across something that needs some attention we contact the authorities and things are tended to.”  

And members of the community aren’t afraid to pitch in and help. One time, volunteers with the Eagle Place Community Association cleaned an area, picking up seven bags of debris.    

Many years ago, Mohawk Lake in Brantford was a focal point for citizens to gather outdoors. The push by Brant MP Phil McColeman to prioritize cleaning up the area has led to a grassroots initiative involving many volunteers. Payne is one of them.  

“Mohawk Lake is a beautiful spot that has been ignored for too many years,” Payne said. “Imagine being able to have boat ramps and fishing right in the heart of the city? That would be wonderful.”

Payne serves on the board of the Beckett building walking club, and also volunteers in other community initiatives.

“When Elaine passed away I decided that I had to make a life for myself,” he said.

Payne not only walks the walk. He talks the talk.

The Grand River Council on Aging, with the leadership of Brant MPP Dave Levac, are currently hosting a series of community gatherings to hear citizen’s views on aging in Brantford-Brant. To learn more and to participate please visit the Grand River Council on Aging website at www.grcoa.ca.