A Senneville resident who launched a newsletter during the first Covid lockdown continues to inform her neighbours about the goings-on around town.

The first Covid-19 lockdown motivated Denise Palisaitis to launch a newsletter that informs residents about goings-on in Senneville.

It started in April, 2020, when the world was locked down during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Senneville resident Denise Palisaitis realized that several of her neighbours were feeling isolated and disconnected from their community.

And she was saddened to learn that her next-door neighbour, a young newlywed, had given birth without her husband’s presence. “Husbands could not be in maternity wards with their labouring wives at that time,” Ms. Palisaitis said.

“I could see that there was distress in the neighbourhood, but I could also see a lot of good things happening, too,” she said in an interview with West Island Home & Life. “This is the kind of neighbourhood in which residents socialize and have book club meetings. Some travel together. They often rely on each other for such things as runs to Costco (‘I’m going shopping; do you need anything?’) and for babysitting.” 

To cut the isolation, Ms. Palisaitis decided to launch a newsletter that would inform residents about the goings-on in the community while raising their spirits. “I wanted to introduce people to new babies, advise them about lost dogs or lost keys, and so on,” she said. “We have 300 families in the whole village of Senneville; we’re so compact.”

She gathers news each month and then sends it out by email in the newsletter, which is called Senneville Wassup. Some 200 residents receive it, and many keep Ms. Palisaitis informed about news and events that can be included in the mailings.

“We have a slew of artists in Senneville, so I’ve featured news of their vernissages or ateliers,” Ms. Palisaitis said. “One man wrote a piece about Senneville before Highway 40 was built. A woman who lived on an estate here in the 1960s wrote about equestrian events that took place there. And someone let the community know that she had an upright piano to give away.”

There are also announcements of births and deaths, accolades and awards, food drives, excerpts from residents’ memoirs, and interesting achievements and events. And there are photos, including historic images and shots of local wildlife. One recent newsletter advised residents that local actress Rebecca Croll was appearing in a movie called The Lion and the Wolf at the nearby Cineplex in Kirkland.

The mailing list has grown through word-of-mouth. “I’ve received multiple emails thanking me,” Ms. Palisaitis said. “I think people are happy to be connected.”

Senneville residents who wish to receive the Wassup newsletter can contact Denise Palisaitis: dpalis8961@gmail.com.