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Case Study: Here’s what John did

Written by Marianne Heron with Paul Britton

For John Noel Cronin involvement is a vital part of a fulfilling retirement. ‘When you are involved you are always busy’, says John Noel from Brittas, Lombardstown, Mallow, County Cork. In fact Noel was busy with his hobby long before he retired from his job with the Irish Sugar Company eight years ago. Vintage and classic cars were his passion and now he has more time for his membership of the Ford Cortina Owners Club of Ireland and the Duhallow Vintage Club. A serious enthusiast, John Noel completely restored a 1962 Mark One Super Ford Cortina over three years, taking it right down to the metal. Drives and weekends away with the club bring their own social rewards, ’You get to meet a lot of people and make friends’, says John Noel.

His wife Eileen introduced him to the local Active Retirement Association (ARA) branch where he became an officer. That was five years ago: now he is Chairman of the Southern Region which covers Cork with 50 local branches and Kerry with 30, representing around 3,000 members. ‘The idea is to get people doing things for themselves and to get involved’, says Noel. And they do: each branch organizes its own activities from computer classes to aqua aerobics and from weekends away to cruises around the Mediterranean. When Noel left work he made a decision to do more to keep fit and healthy, he went swimming with Eileen and cut out bread and sugar and lost weight.

Aside from work in his parish and keeping up with children and grandchildren, John Noel was behind the start-up of a local branch of ARA in Kilshannig. The group started with six members, now there are 90 and the aqua aerobics class they organised was so popular that they are repeating it: just goes to show the power of involvement.

This excerpt was taken from Rewire Don’t Retire, sponsored by Irish Life and Active Retirement Ireland. You can download the full guide HERE