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SSC Newspaper : August 2012
26 Strathfield Scene By Joanne Tran F or most people, retirement means shaking off the nine-to-five routine. Not so for Strathfield resident Ying Seow (pictured, left). Seow, 78, wakes at 4:30am every day, undertaking a ritual of traditional Chinese exercise before heading off to volunteer as a tai chi teacher. Her dedication to the community has earned her the Seniors Week Achievement Award for Community Service. “I am honoured to get the award,” says a humble Seow. “It’s so good to know that other people enjoy what I do.” Her commitment to community ser vice dates back to her youth in Malaysia, where she was heavily involved with the Chinese Malaysian Society. There she taught other members exercises, cooking and tailoring. Her then-husband’s affair was the catalyst for her move to Australia, and for that, she thanks him. It has brought her to what she calls the “ honey country that has brought me much happiness”. And it’s in this “honey country” that Seow first took an interest in tai chi. “I had just retired so I had a lot of time,” she says. “I was going for a walk when I encountered people doing tai chi at a park in Campsie. I was not familiar with tai chi but I knew it was good for you so I joined them.” It is this outgoing attitude which has seen Seow thrive in Australia. Over the past 18 years she has encouraged other senior migrants to engage in social activities. In the early 1990s, she taught tai chi at the Chinese Australian Services Society in Campsie. Now she also teaches classes at Canterbury, Belmore, Bur wood and St Peters, and also volunteers at a nursing home in Earlwood. She continues to receive requests from organisations for special events such as Chinese New Year and Seniors Week. “I also teach singing and line dancing because sometimes people don’t have enough time to go through the intricacies of tai chi,” Seow says. “ When they first join they are reluctant to sing because they say it sounds bad. I tell them don’t worry about it and encourage them. They start off nervous but eventually they ’re having a ball.” Seow stresses the importance of taking part in community activities because of the barriers migrant seniors can face in society. “ When I first came here I was very bored because it was difficult to meet new friends,” Seow says. “My daughter ran a nursing home so she was very busy and I could only go out with her when she was free. That’s why I started working as a cleaner at her nursing home for four hours a day. But when I turned 60 I couldn’t work so I became bored again until I started teaching.” Seow also seeks to challenge people’s perceptions of senior residents. “Just recently I was instructing at a nursing home,” she recalls. “There was a new lady who was crying. I asked her what was wrong. She said: ‘My son sent me to a nursing home.' I told her a nursing home can be a kind of paradise and that I will join them one day – I’m just not qualified yet!” Seow attributes her good health to her exercise regime. She wakes every morning and does a set of exercises, followed by 15 minutes of prayer. All this is done before 7:25am, when it’s time to catch a bus to whichever centre she is due at that day. “I’m busy but it’s a happy busy,” Seow says. “I want to continue doing this in the future. All I can hope for is to remain healthy.” august 2012 people Enjoy our great club facilities Dining, Entertainment, Promotion and much more...... check out what’s on at www.dooleys.com DOOLEYS Church St, Lidcombe Phone 8745 6100 Is gambling a problem for you? Call Betsafe Counselling Service 1800 238 723. DooLeYS practices the Responsible Service of Alcohol. *Terms and Conditions apply. See Club reception for details. DOOLEYS Promotion Winter Winter Wonderland Wonderland $1,000 to be won every wednesday and sunday at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm 28Juneto29augustPROM OTI ONRUNS *Terms and Conditions apply. See Club reception for details. Authorised under NSW Permit Number LTPS-12-04009 * 2nd maJor prize draws For wednesday 29 august 9pm $10,000 PRAWN COCKTAIL Who doesn’t love a .... *Members Price only. While stocks last. Term and Conditions apply. Pictures are representative only. With the purchase of a main meal at DOOLEYS Brasserie Limited time - while stock lasts $5* O NL Y “Happy busy” senior lauded