SENIOR citizens were yesterday acknowledged for their contribution to society at a special ceremony attended by the Minister for Women and Social Welfare Dr Jiko Luveni at the University of Fiji Sugar Festival in Lautoka.
Dr Luveni said having a senior citizens day during the festival was evident of Lautoka's support for the elderly.
"It is a source of happiness and inspiration to our senior citizens that their presence to join in the fun of the Sugar Festival and social interaction is very much valued," she said.
"The Sugar Festival Association continues its legacy in their continuing support for senior citizens in the payment of membership fees of the 150 members and providing assistance in any way needed to the Lautoka Senior Citizens Association. This noble role should be an example to others."
Highlighting the important contribution the elderly have made to society, Dr Luveni said active and healthy older persons were an untapped human resource.
"If they continue working, they can make great contributions to their families and communities.
"In fact, as long as older people continue working beyond pensionable age, they can surely be an advantage for the nation."
Encouraging senior citizens of Lautoka to join associations that encourage involvement in social activities, Assemblies of God senior citizens president Ateca Ratu said they provided platforms for their collective voices to be heard by policy makers.
"We need to be more involved by joining associations and registering with these groups because they can help us with day-to-day living," she said.
"These associations help their members in getting vital services such as obtaining senior citizen public transport cards, social welfare assistance and other important services that are available for senior citizens."