MONTREAL – FILIA Association for Senior Citizens celebrated its 35th anniversary at the Château Royal convention centre in Chomedey, Quebec, on November 24, The Laval News (TLN) reported. Established in February 1984, the Association “has been promoting the care and well-being of senior citizens,” and “initially it was in Montreal’s Park Extension neighborhood,” and “in more recent years it has been active in Chomedey and Laval,” TLN reported.
FILIA helps seniors through activities and charity events to “ensure that elderly members of the community can continue to enjoy an independent and dignified life in a comfortable environment, while remaining connected to their rich culture and heritage,” TLN reported.
FILIA founder Joanna Tsoublekas said in an interview with Newsfirst Multimedia, TLN reported, “Not enough attention is paid to older people. We are an organization that has a mission and dreams to build and meet the needs to make life easier for the older generation.”
The guests at the celebration included Consul General of Greece in Montreal Michalis Gavriilidis, Member of National Assembly (MNA) of Quebec for Chomedey Guy Ouellette, Laval city councillor for Souvenir-Labelle Sandra El Helou, Liberal MP for Saint-Laurent Emmanuella Lambropoulos, Montreal city councillor for Park Extension Mary Deros, Laurier-Dorion MNA Andrés Fontecilla, and former Liberal MP for Ahuntsic Eleni Bakopanos, TLN reported.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a message for the event, “Tonight, we gather to celebrate Canada’s seniors, and to recognize the many contributions that seniors have made, and continue to make to our communities… Events such as today’s are great because they not only help foster new relationships, but encourage more seniors to lead active and healthy lifestyles,” TLN reported.
Montreal mayor Valérie Plante also sent a message, TLN reported, “As Mayor, I am particularly proud of the contribution of all the communities that shape the identity of our city, such as yours. Montreal can be proud of its diversity and vibrancy. Your contribution to the vitality of our metropolis is important.”
Villeray/St-Michel/Parc Extension Borough Mayor Giuliana Fumagalli sent greetings, TLN reported, “I am especially proud to participate in the celebrations surrounding the 35th anniversary of the Association FILIA. Thanks to diversified and accessible programming, the association is creating more than social occasions: it is offering to seniors an environment that is dynamic and stimulating.”
Laval mayor Marc Demers also sent a message, TLN reported, “For the past 35 years, the Association du troisième âge FILIA has been an example of kindness by offering direct assistance to seniors, including 4,500 meals prepared over the past year… some problems take a lot more heart to overcome. And that is exactly what the Association FILIA has: heart!”
MNA Ouellette spoke about FILIA’s efforts in Chomedey in recent years in an interview, TLN reported, “I’ve been around for 12 years and Joanna and FILIA have been around for at least 10 of the past 12 years. They are working hard to provide services to older people in Chomedey, so obviously we feel very much like supporting FILIA.”
Councillor Deros said in an interview, TLN reported, “I am extremely proud of the services that Joanna Tsoublekas has been offering seniors. Everyone is welcome. FILIA offers a lot of individual as well as group support. With a lot of the people who go to FILIA their children are grown and they feel alone and neglected. With FILIA you feel like you have a family to be with and do things together. For that we are all very grateful and we hope that Joanna and FILIA will continue for many more years.”
Laurier-Dorion MNA Fontecilla said, TLN reported, “It’s very, very important to have an association like FILIA for the elderly in the community, for their rights and for the services they need. It is very important for all of us to have such an important resource in our community.”
Saint-Laurent MP Lambropoulos said, TLN reported, “Thanks to Joanna Tsoublekas, FILIA continues to be strong every year. And so we need more people like her in the community who are willing to give their all for the benefit of others. And the seniors in the Greek community definitely benefit from having FILIA. It helps break social isolation, helps get them active and helps with all the problems seniors today face.”