So long John – enjoy retirement
IT was with mixed feelings that Mansfield Shire youth worker John Collyer retired on December 20.
A ‘farewell party’ was held at the Erril Street youth centre with an ‘open door’ for anyone to call in and say goodbye.
John has been with the shire’s youth program for the past 15 years and has not only fulfilled his role with excellence, but has become a friend to many of the town’s younger set.
He has watched so many of the young ones grow into fine young adults.
At the afternoon tea for John, shire representatives included Mayor Cr Marg Attley and youth services and partnerships coordinator Bonnie Clark. John also received thankyou speeches from MDBA’s Dean Belle and Paula Allen from Victoria Police and many of the youth John has befriended over the years.
Ms Clark said “John was very liked and respected”.
“Some of the things said from young people were how grateful they were to have John there for them throughout their lives,” Ms Clark said.
“He was always willing to listen and give support, and they (the youth) knew they could come to him for anything and be safe and supported.
“Many commented on how John was just always there for them, always had their backs and was never judgemental”.
Some of the parents of youth in the community commented on what an asset John has been in the lives of their children, his consistency and influence on them reaching through many years of development.
Many of the youth who have been a part of John’s life over his time at the centre also dropped in to say goodbye.
And what is in store for John in retirement?
Well, according to John’s partner, Janet, there is a list of jobs that need doing, but also taking time out to relax and enjoy life.
CHEERS JOHN: surrounded by some of the friends made during 15 years of working with youth at Mansfield’s youth drop in centre, John Collyer (centre) was farewelled from his shire position, going into retirement.