Community sing-along popular

The New Plymouth YMCA was short on cups and biscuits yesterday after receiving a greater turnout to its community singing event than expected.

More than 90 people from rest homes and care facilities around the city gathered to sing and dance to some good old fashioned classics including She'll be Coming Round the Mountain and You are my Sunshine. The harmonious voices were accompanied by YMCA staff members Mary-Anne Griffiths, on keyboard, and Vonny Tarrant, on ukulele.

The event was run by the YMCA, in association with Positive Ageing Trust and the Disability Centre, to provide the 55 and overs in the community with some aerobic activity.

YMCA chief executive Linda Cox said last time they put on an activity, it was Zumba, and only 10 people showed up. "This is definitely a bigger turnout than expected. We haven't got enough cups or biscuits to go around." Omahanui Special Care Unit diversional therapist Noeline McSweeny said it had been a brilliant idea to bring everyone together with some singing.

"They all know these songs so they can all join in and have fun," she said.

One song everybody did know the words to was Happy Birthday, which was sung to John Withers on his special day.

Mr Withers was also given a vibrant buttonhole to jazz up his outfit, and appeared fairly chuffed to be turning a year older.

"I'm 86 today," he proclaimed. "And I've only got one eye, and I just got my new licence."

Taranaki Daily News