What retirement? Railway man keeps on chugging
WHEN Lismore's Keith Basing retired from the railway back in the eighties he knew he wasn't going to be one to just put his feet up - just the opposite.
In fact even now at 93, Keith still has his finger in a few pies, including continuing his 24-year run as president of the Mullumbimby Senior Citizens Autumn Club which is currently celebrating it's 60th anniversary.
"You've got to keep occupied otherwise you fold up," Keith said.
The same could be said for the Autumn Club too - at it's height it had more than 100 members and went on regular bus trips.
"We only had 10 at hoy last time," he said. "But if we could get more that would be great."
Lismore born and bred, Keith had been involved with the railway since starting as a porter as young man - his last job was relieving on the Lismore to Murwillumbah line from 1980-87. But when he moved from Lismore to Billinudgel he needed things to keep him occupied.
This included being involved with the Billinudgel P&C and Rural Fire Service, Driver Reviver and Indoor bowls. In 1994 he joined the Autumn Club and in 1995 he took over as president. He's slowing down a little now, using a walker - but he is still an active and involved member of both the Indoor bowls and his beloved Autumn Club.
Keith said like him the Club is undergoing some changes too - moving from its longtime home on Gordon Street across the street to the CWA hall to "make-way for new Rural Fire Service facilities".
It is the end of an era for the club, which from 1958 to 197, used various venues around Mullumbimby to meet before being granted permission to build "the Cook Pioneer Centre" in 1969. The first meeting was held there in 1971.
It's the end of an era but hopefully not the end of the line for the popular club.
Byron Shire Council's Acting Director, Corporate and Community Services, James Brickley, said the work of the Autumn club over six decades was certainly something worth noting.
"When the Autumn Club first formed in 1958, Qantas had just introduced its around-the-world air service from Australia to London and Byron Bay was a whaling station," Mr Brickley said.
"Times have certainly changed but the work of the Mullumbimby Senior Citizens Autumn Club remained constant and unwavering, providing friendship and social enrichment to the town's older residents.
"It's terrific that the Club's volunteers continue to provide a wonderful service to the community with members meeting regularly, enjoying Hoy afternoons on the last Saturday of every month and lunching at restaurants in Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads.
"We can never underestimate the importance of organisations such as the Senior Citizens Autumn Club because the social interaction that comes from being a member of this type of club is so important especially as people get older.
"On behalf of Byron Shire Council I congratulate the Senior Citizens Autumn Club for 60 years of great work in Mullumbimby and wish members all the very best for many more years of service and fellowship," Mr Brickley said.
Mullumbimby Senior Citizens Autumn Club now meet at the CWA rooms on Gordon Street if you are interested in joining phone Keith on (02) 6684 2916 or the club's secretary Susie Handran 0422 685258.