If you are 50 and above, and have some extra time on your hands, then wonder over to St. Paul’s Milagiriya to spend a fun-filled Friday morning. A group of enthusiastic seniors gather in the auditorium, within the St. Paul’s Milagiriya Church grounds, for some interesting conversation and to play a range of games including scrabble, bridge, carom, and 304.
These weekly gatherings are organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Senior Citizens and membership is open to anyone who is above 50. There is a nominal fee of Rs. 1000 per year, which allows members to visit each Friday between 9 and 12 a.m.; partake in the games; and enjoy a cup of tea and some biscuits. The club also organizes tournaments which the members wholeheartedly participate in. There are celebrations organized for Christmas and Avurudu, as well as trips and outings which are held twice a year. Githagani Fernando, who is the President of the Association said, “We have over a hundred members. They really look forward to these Friday morning sessions because it gives them an opportunity to get away from their daily routine. They get to make new friends and the games they play are fun as well as intellectually stimulating. We welcome all seniors to join us. If you are interested, then you can pay a day fee of Rs. 25 and spend a Friday morning with us before you decide to join.” Ms. Fernando is supported by a dedicated committee of seven members who take care of all the administrative aspects of the group.
Ms. Geethangani Fernando, President of the Sri Lanka Association of Senior Citizens