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Grab your phone, it's party line time

Paul H. Schurman holds a phone, practicing for his upcoming role as moderator on the P.E.I. Party Line.
Paul H. Schurman holds a phone, practicing for his upcoming role as moderator on the P.E.I. Party Line.

Paul H. Schurman picks up his phone and begins to dial.

“Party line,” he says with a smile.

In January, Schurman will be acting moderator for the P.E.I. Party line.

“I’m sure some seniors remember the old phone system where you each had a ring. Before 1950, areas on the Island still had to ring in, where you’d connect with the operator, tell them the ring and the number. The idea for this program is the same thing, people aged 50 and older can listen into the conversation, like a party line.” said Schurman.

The program, run by the P.E.I. Seniors’ Secretariat, kicks off on Friday, Jan. 6 with it’s kick-off party session.

“It’s been a popular initiative in other provinces, but this is the first time it’s coming here,” he said.

“It works kind of like a conference call. You call a number and the operator will dial you in, however, you have to register for each session.”

People can register by phone call, email, mail or fax.

The operator will have a list of names as people call in that way if they want to join the conversation they can, said Schurman.

“Party line,” he says with a smile.

In January, Schurman will be acting moderator for the P.E.I. Party line.

“I’m sure some seniors remember the old phone system where you each had a ring. Before 1950, areas on the Island still had to ring in, where you’d connect with the operator, tell them the ring and the number. The idea for this program is the same thing, people aged 50 and older can listen into the conversation, like a party line.” said Schurman.

The program, run by the P.E.I. Seniors’ Secretariat, kicks off on Friday, Jan. 6 with it’s kick-off party session.

“It’s been a popular initiative in other provinces, but this is the first time it’s coming here,” he said.

“It works kind of like a conference call. You call a number and the operator will dial you in, however, you have to register for each session.”

People can register by phone call, email, mail or fax.

The operator will have a list of names as people call in that way if they want to join the conversation they can, said Schurman.

“My role is to keep things flowing smoothly. I’ll tell them the code of conduct and just keep things moving along.”

Each party line session has a guest speaker with conversations about Alzheimer’s awareness, Robbie Burns day and genealogy.

“We’ll deal with many things concerning seniors on the island. The secretariat’s job is to report to the minister who is concerned and looks over the seniors of the Island. Maybe this will give us something else to report to her.

“I think the things we talk about on the party line will spark discussion among seniors Island wide.”

Once word gets out there will be more and more people on the calls, said Schurman.

“People might be reluctant at first, but then someone will say, were you on the party line this morning? And then it will take off.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will be really great for our seniors and hopefully everyone will get to ask a question and speak their thoughts.

As well as hosting discussions on topics concerning the Island’s seniors, the party line will also inform people in the community about any upcoming events.

“Most of the people who will call into the line will be the ones who are interested in the events. It will really include everyone with a chance to get involved.”

How can you register?

-Call: 1-866-770-0588

-Mail you registration to:

Senior’ Secretariat

Attn: PEI Party Line

Department of Family and Human Services

11 Kent Street, 2nd Floor Jones Building

PO Box 2000, Charlottetown PE C1A 7N8

-Email: seniors@gov.pe.ca

-Fax: 902-894-0242

 

When and what are the sessions?

-Friday, Jan. 6: 10 to 10:40a.m.: Kick-off party

-Wednesday, Jan. 11: 10 to 10:30 a.m.: Welcome to P.E.I. Party Line

-Friday, Jan. 13: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Alzheimer awareness month

-Wednesday, Jan. 18: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Tea talk

-Friday, Jan. 20: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Overcoming sleep and fatigue

-Wednesday, Jan. 25: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Robbie Burns Day

-Friday, Jan. 27: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Some weather we’re having

-Wednesday, Feb. 1: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Acadian Winter Celebrations

-Friday, Feb. 3: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Welcoming our Island Amish neighbours

-Wednesday, Feb. 8: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Music therapy

-Friday, Feb. 10: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Genealogy: getting started and keeping going

-Friday, Feb. 17: 10 to 10:40 a.m.: Help someone you know

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