Christmas carols rang out at local seniors homes in Maple Ridge on Christmas Day thanks to the Ridge Meadows RCMP.
Dave Walsh, retired RCMP superintendent and former officer in charge of the Ridge-Meadows detachment, has been organizing and leading the group of carollers for seniors since 1993 – and before that even sang for a couple of years while posted Kelowna.
Walsh noted that the concerts are performed with the support of Supt. Wendy Mehat, the current officer in charge of the Ridge Meadows detachment, along with regular members of the detachment and members of the volunteer program.
“Concerts are a blend of regular members, retired members, volunteers, guitar group and other community members,” he explained.
This year about 20 people took part, a number that varied a bit at each concert venue.
“We do have a core group who attend each concert but also have any available on duty members and other community volunteers who pop in for an hour on their lunch break to sing, providing operational police work is addressed first,” said Walsh.
This year the group sang a set of about 20 Christmas carols at two senior’s facilities in Maple Ridge: Maple Ridge Seniors Centre and Greystone Lodge. The concerts were around an hour in length.
They were prepared to sing four concerts, but due to the snowy conditions, they had to cancel two of their stops.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic the group would schedule eight or nine senior’s facilities. But health restrictions since then meant they had to limit their performances.
Walsh said the concerts were very welcomed for those they did perform in front of.
“The seniors were certainly very happy to see us return,” he said.
“I know for those of us who participate it certainly gives us the sense of the true value of Christmas and the holiday season. We get just as much from performing as the seniors do,” added Walsh.
Next year he is hoping they can once again schedule eight to nine concerts.
“Our seniors have done so much for us. They have worked and raised families in our communities and left us with a legacy and quality of life that has been the best in history. Our seniors have overcome so much hardship and adversity to show us what true resilience is. We owe them so much,” said Walsh.
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