Member of Parliament for Pineridge, Frederick McAlpine, celebrated his birthday in grand style on Thursday, November 28 during his Annual Thanksgiving Senior Citizen Luncheon.
Assembled in the courtyard of the Kipling Building, where his office is located, access was granted to all Pineridge constituents, who sang and danced to beautiful renditions by Funky D, Veronica Bishop, Jay Mitchell and the Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band.
McAlpine, who was also celebrating his birthday, chose a Bahamian styled theme with decorations of blue, gold and black arrangements everywhere.
“Today we are here, because it’s Thanksgiving and I thought it would be good to just get our elders to the point where they get recognized and kind of be relaxed and take a chill day after suffering Hurricane Dorian. It’s also my birthday, and I wanted to celebrate with the constituents of Pineridge, so you had to be 60 and over to qualify to be here today, but it is just my pleasure here to do this,” the MP explained.
McAlpine noted, it was still important to stage the grand luncheon, despite minor changes that were made.
“It was important for me to have this because people are hurting, people need to let their hair down and people need to be a little more relaxed.
“I wanted to, actually, have the venue at the Foster B. Pestaina Hall where I had it the last time, but it wasn’t available because of Hurricane Dorian and they are still dealing with repairs. But I wanted to at least make sure that the people of Pineridge, the elderly, were comfortable today and rather than doing a giveaway, we are going to feed them and let them have some entertainment,” he added.
“We are happy to have all the way from Nassau – Veronica Bishop, Funky D, Jay Mitchell and the Royal Bahamas Police Pop Band, so we just want people to enjoy themselves and enjoy the fellowship.
“I’m sending a message that life still goes on despite the circumstances and despite the situation. We are going to have fun today. We have a balance … we have gospel music; we have secular music, because life itself is a balance. We have some ice tea; we have some wine, we are going to dance in the spirit and just have fun,” said the MP.
McAlpine mixed and mingled with the ‘Precious Pearls’ handing out gifts of appreciation. He thanked every senior citizen for their attendance.
Senior citizen Rosalie Harris shared her excitement at being a part of the festivities. “This is the first time I’ve attended this luncheon and so far, I am really enjoying myself. I am glad I came, there are lot of familiar faces, there a lot of persons I haven’t seen since the hurricane and it’s nice to be amongst all of them.
“This is a nice luncheon and it makes everyone feel loved and appreciated, because it shows that we have not been forgotten.”
Accompanying his mother for the first time, Brendan Stubbs said, “I feel excited to be here.
“This is my first time actually coming with her, so it’s exciting to see all of the entertainment and just to be in a room filled with a lot of elderly folks is a good feeling. They are the trailblazers and they have a lot of wisdom, so it is exciting.”
Shirley Morris said, “I am enjoying this Thanksgiving dinner, and I think it is a good time now, after Dorian, to be able to give God thanks for what He has seen us through. It is good to be able to thank Him for this togetherness, especially for Pineridge that has had so much damage and to just celebrate with Mr. McAlpine on his birthday.”
Alice Williams of Mind Body and Soul Fitness said, “McAlpine is an amazing, phenomenal man and God is good that he did this luncheon for all the senior citizens.
“We are going through a lot right now and to God be the glory for the good things He has done and I thank Him for what He has done and what He is going to do.”