IN 1968 Tony Green emigrated from Leicestershire, England to WA, wearing a three-piece wool suit and a heavy raincoat.
When he got off the plane it was nearly 50 degrees.
Despite that daunting introduction to the Land Down Under, Mr Green has gone on to become a stalwart in the Bayswater community. He’s the long-running president of the residents and ratepayers association and a member of various community groups, including Friends of Lightning Swamp.
Voice readers will perhaps know him best as a tenacious council watcher who isn’t scared to give Bayswater’s mandarins a dressing down. Mr Green’s also carved out a successful career as an electronics technician, working with NASA on the Apollo projects, from 1968 to 1975, at the Carnarvon Tracking Station.
Now 80, he tells the Voice about the challenges of getting older and how volunteering helsp maintains his enthusiasm for life.
BEING a senior citizen today is both good and bad, leading to happiness and unhappiness in pretty equal measures.
The bad comes from the fact that political correctness has crept so far into our society that younger people cannot possibly understand the standards that we stand by.
In our younger years we had three foundations for our lives – God, King and Country – and there we stood on a rock-solid foundation.
Our young days were ruled by rigid discipline both at home and at school, and we certainly knew the difference between right and wrong.
In today’s world all three of these foundations have been erased by political correctness. You are looked down on for having religious beliefs, the monarchy has been derided into obscurity, and pride in your country has been dismissed as being unfair to foreigners.
Discipline is now a dirty word and frowned on by the “experts” in our society.
Unfortunately they haven’t realised why there is so much crime, drug use and violence in our society since they did this.
Can you see why we are confused and sometimes very angry with the younger people; who do not seem to live to any standards other than fashionable politically-correct views, which appear to change by the moment.
Our happiness comes of course from our ever-expanding families, kids, grandies and great grandies. Who could not be happy when in their company?
Of course we have to put up with some misfortunes, people unexpectedly falling off the perch, or the loss of old friends, as well as the ever decreasing pool of money that we are left with.
For myself I took up volunteering to take my mind off of those parts of life that were upsetting me.
So far I’ve been a school mentor, headed up a ratepayer organisation, joined an environmental group, become involved with City of Bayswater committees and latterly helped to set up the men’s shed in Bayswater.
Many personal benefits have flowed from these activities.
Firstly, I again feel that I have a purpose in my daily life, something we lose when we stop work at retirement.
Secondly, there is a joy in helping people that has to be experienced and cannot be explained otherwise.
If you are a senior reading this, please consider volunteering for things within your capabilities.
If this isn’t your thing, then cash in all of your assets and go live on a cruise ship until your money runs out.
Either way you will at least be enjoying yourself, which you well deserve; and always remember – mirrors lie!