At one stage in my career, I was being transferred to a new town/city on average every two years. Some places we were transferred to we did not know a soul. How did we go about making friends and building relationships? Obviously, the work situation did help, as I met people all the time. However, it was harder for my wife Bev, as only at times worked on a half day basis. This was when our children were older. What assisted us greatly was meeting parents of friends of our children at school activities and school sporting events. I was fortunate that I was invited to join The Rotary Club of Newcastle. Besides the great enjoyment, I experienced I met some wonderful people and have built up relationships with. Some of these friends, we try and remain in contact with.
Whenever we were transferred to another town, I was accepted by the new Rotary Club and again made some new good friends. By writing our book, I have been very fortunate to address several Rotary Clubs and still believe it is a great organisation to belong to. Unfortunately, when I was transferred to Durban I had to regularly visit branches away from Durban. Therefore, I had to resign from Rotary because it was difficult to keep my attendance up.
As your children complete their schooling and then you proceed on retirement, it is more difficult to meet new people. However, there are several ways available to meet new people. In previous newsletters, I have mentioned that I have been privileged to address several Probus Clubs in KZN. After each meeting, I have come away with a good feeling, as their members are really enjoying their retirement.
In our book, I mention that another great way to meet new people is to become involved even is a small way with your church. I know of many friends who have become involved with activities that happen in their local community. This has resulted in meeting new people.
Recently I had the privilege of addressing a meeting of The University Of The Third Age (U3A). This is an international movement whose aims are the education and simulation of mainly retired members of the community. Those who are in their third age of life. It was a most enjoyable time spent with their members, who asked some very interesting questions. This is one organisation which consideration could be given to joining.
For me, the most important relationship is with my wife, Bev and I have, with our immediate family. I cannot image our lives without a good relationship we have with all our family. We are fortunate that one son Adrian and his wife Nadine, live very close by with their two daughters Taylyn and Courtney. My eldest son Malcolm, lives within half an hour of us, with his wife Ana and his son Matthew. My youngest son Gareth and his wife Vicky live outside London. Gareth is very good as he phones us at least once a week.
We enjoy the quality time that we spend with our family and also very much enjoy our two granddaughters. We try to attend their various horse jumping events, whenever possible. Matthew has just started playing cricket for his school and we enjoy watching him play.
In my other article for this newsletter, I discuss the importance of maintaining and retaining relationships in retirement.