This article, written by Kristyl Clark, appeared in The Peace Arch News Local Flavours column on January 26, 2011.
April Lewis is 58 and fabulous.
When asked her age, the White Rock resident doesn’t bat an eye about disclosing her mature status.
Instead, the proud mother of two daughters shares her double digits “loud and proud,’’ and is an advocate for others to do the same.
“No, of course I don’t like the fact that I’m getting older when I look in the mirror,” said Lewis, who ran her first marathon at the age of 56.
“However, I am physically and mentally stronger than I’ve ever been and would much rather be concerned about the wrinkles on my heart than the wrinkles on my face.”
After retiring last year from a career of more than 30 years with Vancouver Coastal Health, Lewis wasn’t quite ready to leave the workforce.
Rather, she began to pursue a new path with A New Vision of Aging for Canada (CARP) as the volunteer director of communications for White Rock/Surrey Chapter 11. Last month, she also became the group’s newly appointed B.C. representative.
The national, non-partisan, non-profit organization – currently approaching 350,000 members – is committed to a new vision of aging for Canada that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination.
“We hold politicians to account and remind them the importance of our voting habits,” said Lewis, who notes there are currently more than 14.5 million baby boomers in Canada.
“We were important when we were young and just as important now. Politicians you better listen to us, we put you in power and we’ll put you out of power.”
In June, Lewis is headed for Italy, where a similar group to CARP, ‘Cinquante (50) Piu (Plus),’ has been in operation for around 35 years. In addition to taking in the sights and sounds of the city of romance, she plans to enjoy fine food and wine. She is also hopeful she will get an opportunity to meet members of the European sister organization.
“That’s why I’m brushing up on my Italian,” said Lewis who jokes she must have been a Venetian courtesan in a past life. “I’m English and Irish, but my soul is truly Italian.”
For information about CARP, call Lewis at 604-536-8717 or visit www.carp.ca
In this week’s Local Flavours, Lewis shares her recipe for Caprese Salad.
Ingredients: Organic salad greens
cocktail boccocini cheese
orange-infused extra virgin olive oil (or regular olive-oil with 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest)
balsamic glaze (not vinegar)
On a platter, spread out organic greens. Add a few fresh, torn, basil leaves and a few red onion rings. Decorate with plum tomatoes, bocconcini cheese and Sicilian olives. Before serving, pour on orange-infused extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze in a decorative design. Serve with your Mediterranean chicken, Tuscan roasted potatoes, crusty paesano bread and a fabulous bottle of Chianti. Buon appetito!