Social and Political Commentary

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Anne MacGillivray - Silver Haired legislator

 ... she has a busy schedule

from the SIlverStringers

MELROSE -- The year 2003 ushers in another Silver-Haired Legislature Representative covering precincts 3, 4, 5 and 6 Wakefield.

Anne MacGillivray who has been the Silver-Haired Legislature Representative for Melrose and precincts 4,5 and 6 for Stoneham for the past eight years and House Speaker for the Silver-Haired Legislature, will be picking up these precincts while discontinuing the precincts in Stoneham.

The Silver-Haired Legislature is composed of 160 representatives and 40 senators. All are age 60 or over and are elected from the same districts as members of the General Court. It meets annually for a State House conference to develop Legislation that responds to the needs and concerns for Massachusetts elders, while also focusing attention to the disabled and younger residents as well.

Members work throughout the year with members of the General Court to advocate for bills submitted by the Silver-Haired Legislature and adopted as priority legislation at the State House conference. In 1997 MacGillivray received a citation from the Massachusetts Senate for her ceaseless work on behalf of seniors and persons with disabilities, mostly noted for the blind. "We are the liaison between Seniors, our senators and representatives and the people in the community. Sometimes people don't know where to turn when they find they are falling through the cracks of the system with a problem be it small or a catastrophic illness either they or a member of their family is faced with. Many times we are the ones who can give them the direction or be the voice they need to speak for them as well as adopting priority bills to present to the General Court," says MacGillivray.

Along with dedicating her enthusiasm for the preservation of quality of life for seniors and disabled, MacGillivray took another side of her energies and has established three line dance  schools. One in the Wakefield Senior Center, the Milano Senior Center Melrose, and the First Baptist Church in Melrose. Although line dancing appears to be a number one exercise for Seniors, Anne encourages those who are approaching the senior years to get a jump start on preserving good health by incorporating line dancing with an exercise program. "It is probably the most enjoyable form of exercise while enjoying great music and making new friends. Exercise and joy are two necessary ingredients conducive to preserving good health," says MacGillivray.

In 1999 MacGillivray was awarded the "Inspiration Award" on physical fitness as a role model for peers wnose distinctive enthusiasm inspires other to fitness through exercise by the Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports.  

From among her line dance students she formed an entertainment group after learning there was hidden talent among them. They have entertained church organizations, private parties, for clubs, AARP chapters, nursing homes, synagogues, assisted living complexes and apartment houses. They performed at the Massachusetts State Governor's conference held in Boxborough three years ago and at the Silver Haired Legislature Christmas party in Boston last year where they received a Certificate of Appreciation for exceptional entertainment and dedication from SilverHaired Legislature President, Sally Hoyt of Reading. Adding the icing to their entertainment group is the addition of MacGillivray's Lhasa-Apso dog, Muffin who enjoys her share of taking bows at the performances. "Consequently, it was not difficult for us to come up with an appropriate name to travel with", says MacGillivray. "Since it is simply the way we feel and the way we plan to stay we chose, the name "Forever Young and Muffin," as our claim to fame.

MacGillivray can be reached at 781-665-7653.

March 5, 2004

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