An avenue for older residents of Launceston to engage with each other and broaden their minds has been an important part of Barry Lumley’s life for 17 years.
The Youngtown man has been an active participant and committee member at the Launceston School for Seniors, which saw him honoured this year as part of the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The honours are handed down each year on the Queens Birthday long weekend. Mr Lumley received an OAM for his significant contribution to the school for seniors.
He has been an active member and held roles on the committee for 15 years including 10 years in the role of chairman.
While he may have taken a small step back in his commitment to the role, he remains vice-chair of the committee.
“I felt quite honoured when I was advised that I had been nominated for this award,” Mr Lumley said.
He said while one individual could not account for the success of the school, he said the award gave him the opportunity to acknowledge contribution of the many volunteers that have contributed to the LSS since it was founded in 1981.
“Success just doesn’t happen on the back of just one person but needs the contribution of all those who have been involved in tutoring, administration and those who have readily participated,” he said.
The success of the Launceston School for Seniors has been in the way it actively promotes social inclusion for those aged 50 and over.
“The value of these organisations to the community can’t be overstated,” Mr Lumley said.
”They provide the means by which we can offer to address one of the biggest challenges to people in this age group, the need for social inclusion.”
Mr Lumley said in the past 17 years he had met many people who had recently lost their spouse or found themselves suddenly retired with no firm plans of what to do next.
He said the school provided those people with a reason to get up in the morning and participate in activities with like-minded people.
“I am also fortunate to be a resident of the Glenara Lakes Retirement/Lifestyle Village where these same opportunities are available for social inclusion by living in a community who can offer similar opportunities and reach out to those who are in these similar circumstances.”
Launceston School for Seniors is holding a registration day on June 20, from 9.30am until noon at the school, 8 High Street, Launceston. The school caters for those aged 50 and over and is affiliated with U3A.