HIGH-TECH HELP: Fay Rollans gives Sue Delang a few tips about using email.
HIGH-TECH HELP: Fay Rollans gives Sue Delang a few tips about using email. BELINDA SCOTT

Take a tablet and travel to a web world of skills

FAY Rollans was so nervous her legs were shaking when she first walked into Coffs Harbour's Seniors Computer Club.

Two years later she has digitally produced a book about her late father's First World War experiences.

As part of her research, Fay, 74, toured the French battlefields of the 1914-18 war, using her tablet to record military graves, historic plaques and the sites of old conflicts.

Standing knee-deep in French fields sprinkled with vivid poppies, she was photographing peaceful rural scenes that her father saw in 1916 as acres of churned mud and barbed wire, streaked red with the blood of slaughtered soldiers.

The trip and the book were special projects for Fay, who is named after a small French village near where her father was stationed for part of his wartime service.

Fay, aged 74, has also learned how to clean up and improve old photographs and has become a confident and regular user of Skype.

She is now tutoring beginners in the basics of how to use tablets.

"When I got on to the tablet I learned so much," said Fay. "Now I want to help others as well as learn more myself.

"At the Seniors Computer Club we are all volunteers helping each other."

One of her students is 94-year-old Sue Delang, who is learning to send photos and email at the Monday morning workshops.

The workshops help Sue avoid the distractions of home, including her pet cockatiel, which chews notebooks and nibbles computer cords.

Fay's newfound computer skills are also helping her in unexpected ways. When in Poland visiting her son, who is renovating his house, she used her tablet to take pictures of what she wanted and showed them to non-English speaking suppliers and tradesmen.

With around 100 financial members and its own computers, the low-cost club is one of the most active on the Coffs Coast.

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