So long John – en­joy re­tire­ment

Mansfield Courier - - Courier | Opinions/people -

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.

LET’S HELP:

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.

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