PEOPLE AROUND TOWN
What do you do?
I’m a retired primary school principal enjoying retirement with my wife Yvonne on our six-acre property in Porepunkah. I was a member of the Victoria Education Department from 1960 to 2003. I was a primary school principal for the last 26 years of that time. For 15 years I was the convenor of the government’s Education Committee for Finance and Facilities.
You’re also president of Bright U3A, how long have you been involved there?
I’ve been part of Bright U3A for three years now and president for the past two. I’ve just started my third term as president.
It’s my understanding that the Bright U3A is one of the biggest around in terms of members per capita?
Yes we have over 220 members. A couple of years ago we had the highest percentage per capita in Victoria and although that might have changed I think we are still number one for country Victoria.
What does Bright U3A offer?
We offer an environment which concentrates on lifelong learning, good caring friendships and the opportunity to stay active. Most people who reside in our area choose to reside here and our U3A gives them the opportunity to enjoy their retirement with fellow retirees. You are never too old to learn and appreciate life. We run a wide range of programs which cater for everybody’s needs and wishes. If a group of members want a new program we find a suitable convenor for the program to start. An example of that is our Russian class. One of our members was born, not in Russia, but on the border, and spoke Russian up to the age of three. One day while on a U3A ride she said she wanted to learn it again. It just happens that eight other people were interested too and one of our members, an ex-school teacher who had completed an arts degree majoring in Russian, was willing to run it.
Have you always lived in Bright?
No, I was born and raised in Reservoir in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Yvonne and I married in 1980 and lived in Lalor for six years then Epping for 28 years. We started here in 2004, travelling up most weekends and then came to live permanently in Porepunkah in 2014. Our land is part of the original holding where Yvonne’s great grandfather Albert Weston settled in 1860.
What do you do in your spare time?
Yvonne and I have a large garden and small orchard. When not working at home, along with being the U3A president I am on the committee of the Bright Art Gallery and treasurer of the Bright Historical Society. Every week we communicate with our four children and check up on our three grandchildren. I also try to watch Bright football and cricket matches during their respective seasons. I’ve just started a project writing the history of the Diamond Valley Football League which I played in and was later an administrator with for almost 50 years.