Retirement a work in progress

Retired farmer Pat Suddaby said the key to enjoying his retirement is work, family, golf and...
Retired farmer Pat Suddaby said the key to enjoying his retirement is work, family, golf and fishing, but not necessarily in that order! PHOTO: ALICE SCOTT
Pat Suddaby says he might be retired but he’ll never stop working.

Since selling their 570ha sheep and beef farm in Hindon, near Outram, in 2010, Mr Suddaby and his wife Mary have ensured they have kept busy and active.

Mr Suddaby can be found these days working as a greenkeeper at the Middlemarch Golf Club and he is also an active member of the Strath Taieri Lions Club.

When the farm was sold, there was an adjustment period, Mr Suddaby said.

"It took me a good year to get over it, to be honest. I floundered a bit; I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. But you find your feet eventually and you move on. The key is to keep working. You can’t just sit around all day."

Mr Suddaby said his greenkeeping job and work for the Lions Club were good ways to spend his retirement years.

"That, and a bit of sea fishing and the odd game of golf every now and then."

The Lions Club did work to raise funds for people and organisations in the local area that needed it.

"We give it to the swimming club and the school and the likes; we like to help younger people with their costs if they have made a representative sports team or if they want to go on a course like Outward Bound. It’s a very satisfying club to be part of. You can see you’re making a tangible difference."

A major fundraiser involved splitting and selling firewood.

"We will get a heap of logs delivered to the site on a club member’s farm and each Sunday a handful of us will do a few hours ringing and splitting. If there are two splitters going, we can split up to 10 cubic metres an hour. It’s a good social club — we’ll have a beer afterwards."

He and his wife also enjoyed spending time with their six grandchildren and before Covid-19 had made plans to do further travel.

Before they sold the farm, they leased it out for four years and lived and worked overseas.

"We never got the chance to travel before we started our family, so we did it in our 50s. It was a good experience. We both worked for a large estate [Codicote House, in Codicote, Hertfordshire, England]. Mary was in charge inside the homestead and I was the groundsman. We would take three or four weeks off at a time and travel all around the UK and Europe, just spending what we earned. It was a great time of our lives and I am so glad we did it."

When they returned he did another four years farming before deciding to sell.

"I got back, but my heart wasn’t in it I guess you would say. When you feel that way you know it’s time to make a change."

- By Alice Scott

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