Plans are being put in place for the formation of a retired teachers association in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
The intention is to embrace all retired teachers, principals and education officers, explained Joy Matthews, who chairs an interim committee.
She told SEARCHLIGHT that planning for the new association began with an initial meeting on September 26.
Since then, there have been two other meetings, the last of which was held on December 14 as part of a social event which saw retired educators gathering for a fun day at River 14 in South Rivers.
“The reason why we decided to have an association is that we realize when our colleagues retire, we hardly ever see them,” Matthews explained.
“We meet them occasionally, like in Kingstown, but most of the times, we hear about them when they are sick, and soon after, we hear about their passing”.
Matthews said as a result “We thought that if we put ourselves together, that we can lend support to our colleagues, especially those who are not well.”
“We can visit and chat with those who are not well”.
Matthews, whose last posting prior to retirement was as principal of the Belair Government School said that “transitioning from active work into retirement can have a serious impact on a person.”
The retired educator explained, “we are conscious that dementia is taking a toll on a lot of our colleagues, and we thought this was one of the ways that we can help keep their brains ticking”.
Matthews added that there are many places in St Vincent and the Grenadines which persons now in retirement, may have never visited.
The association therefore will like to also involve members in recreational activities, including visits to places in St Vincent and the Grenadines and possible cruise ship getaways.
Retirement is not the end of life and Matthews said; “we do believe that we can still be of service to our nation.”
“Collectively, we have a number of skills and a variety of talents”.
When the association becomes fully functional, Matthews said they aim to be involved in conducting seminars for persons entering the world of work, and also for those soon to retire.
“We do believe that we have a responsibility as it relates to what kind of life we would want to live after retirement,” she stressed.
Matthews is extending an invitation to all retired educators to come together and be a part of the association.
The interim committee comprises: Joy Matthews chair; Delia Ollivierre secretary with committee members are Debra Morris, Michelle Beache, Paula Jack, Carlitha Williams-Rodriguez, Marcia Peters and Yvette Antoine.
Matthews said that the association will be launched early next year and the interim-committee is now working on their logo and motto in preparation for the launch.