PEO­PLE AROUND TOWN

Roy Ward

Alpine Observer - - News -

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.

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