Elderly's big cruise to real fun

BUFFETS and cruises are not unusual for the rich, but for the elderly, such entertainment may well be a luxury. Radio 5 of Radio Television Hong Kong recently made an effort to offer the elderly a taste of this luxury in the form of a round-the-harbour cruise.

The 'Romantic Ocean Cruise', one of the events for the 'Care for the Elderly '94' project, provided three hours of fun and laughter and a delicious buffet for about 200 elderly. Pop stars including Julian Cheung Chi-lam, Dicky Cheung Wai-kin, Winnie Lau Siu-wai and Rita Carpio were on board during the trip to provide love and care for the elderly together with hosts Lam Ka-wah and Chan Yuk-leen.

Agnes Tang Wai-han, head of Radio 5, told Young Post that the channel had been organising 'Care for the Elderly' activities since 1991 in response to the radio show Programme for the Elderly .

'We had a feeling that listening was not enough for the elderly, so we started organising the activities in 1991. The main purpose is to provide warmth for the needy. Every time we see their smiling faces, we feel it is all worth it.' The channel, which provides direct services to the community without much promotion, is proud to be free to organise such activities for the needy.

It assigned some 20 singers as 'Care for the Elderly Vanguards' in the hope that their participation in social services would set a good example for their fans.

'The singers have agreed to send some of the gifts they get from their fans to in-patients as well as the elderly. When fans realise that their idols are taking part in these meaningful activities, they also try to follow them.' Radio 5 has been arranging for singers and their fans visits to hospitals and homes for the aged throughout the territory since May.

Tang said originally their main focus were the elderly but the activities were later expanded to benefit the blind and underprivileged children too.

'It is hard to feel the pain the blind have to endure until you visit them. We should be happy that we have an able body.' In line with the programme's slogan 'Elderly exhibit their energy in the air, on the ground and on the sea', the channel will also be holding an 'MTR Safety Campaign For the Elderly', 'Fantastic Flight For the Elderly' and 'Exercises For the Elderly' later this year.