I had been in the work force for 48 years, the last 31 in an accounting partnership.
And so I entered a relaxed period, with thoughts of travel foremost n my mind.
That was so until a contemporary practitioner (Wal Pfeiffer) approached me and said, "Ray, you have to help me!"
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) had been introduced and pre-empted much addtional work for those in the accounting profession.
He requested me to work with him for three days a week in the months ending each quarter, to assist with quarterly GST returns. As he and I had studied together and had been been friends for many years, I agreed. However, I hadn't foreseen, (nor had Wal), that I would be with him for two years solid!
Notwithstanding, I really enjoyed that role, and December of the year 2000 saw my eventual retirement.
Being retired does not mean that one is not occupied. I continued, and even expanded, my roles in Probus and U3A. I carried on my role of honorary auditor of a number of community clubs, and there was more time for lawn bowls.
I took on the position of Finance Director for 4 years with the Bowls Cub and then another four years as Secretary of the club.
Then the "real" retirement! A Trafalgar tour of Europe and Scandinavia. And so we enjoyed Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and St. Petersburg. Afterwards we returned to London, where our daughter, Cathy, was managing the marketing arm of Brown Bros (Milawa) Britain circuit. Being away from home and Mum & Dad, Cathy was experiencing some loneliness, so we stayed a while with her in her small Windsor flat, just a little way from Windsor Castle. We then flew with her to Paris and Barcelona and followed that with a flight and several days stay in Ireland.
On return home to Benalla we settled again into retirement mode, just taking life on a day to day basis.
While I was enjoying lawn bowls, Bernadette was settling into golf (coupled with lawn mowing, gardening and home duties).
We took a flight to Norfolk Island and a bus tour to Kangaroo Island, and then became attracted to cruising with the Princess line. We went on six cruises to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Singapore and then .... COVID struck! An unintended halt to travel!
All along I have been a member of the U3A "Singing for Fun" group where a group of approximately 30 of us "oldies" get together each week. We have given presentations to the Cooinda and the Freemasons' oldies a number of times.
I have also been a member of the FCJ College "Let's Find Our Voice" program over the last 2 years. We rehearsed with the Year 7 students for 3 months prior to our public presentations at BPAC and the FCJ Hall and made some memorable friendships with the youngsters.
On 20th and 21st June we reached our climax. For Bernadette's birthday our family sent us to Sydney to see the Disney presentation of Beauty and the Beast. We were spoiled rotten with the show, a suite overlooking the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the bay and a chauffeur driven experience for 2 days.
WHO WOULDN'T BE RETIRED???