Stuart Reed meets two people who prove the old adage that it is never too late to take up a new challenge
WE ALL say: ‘It’s never too late to try something new’. But how many of us really believe it? I’ve found a couple of inspirational senior citizens who’ve done just that.
Take Sylvia Mundy from Havant for example.
For many years she and her late husband, Leslie, used to make the tea at Havant Symphony Orchestra’s weekly practices.
At the age of 68 she decided to learn the violin, an instrument she’d never played before.
She’s now 83 years old and a valued member of two amateur ensembles.
‘I inherited my Aunt Nellie’s violin and I enjoyed playing it from the very moment I started, said Sylvia.
‘It was such a joy to play with others. I joined the Seaview Strings and then the Portsmouth Philharmonia.’
Anne White, the chairwoman of the Portsmouth Philharmonia, added: ‘Sylvia’s such a heroine. I admire her greatly and I’m thrilled she’s in the second violin section of our amateur orchestra. Nothing stands in her way.
‘She’s multi-talented too. An accomplished painter who regularly exhibits her work, she’s now creating lovely sculptures.’
Her violin teacher, Gunter Oestreich, said, ‘Sylvia Mundy is one of my best pupils. She’s so consistent. She never misses a lesson and practices regularly. She works hard to get the difficult bits right. If I ask her to learn something she always does it,’ he added.
Another person who’s an example to us all is Dr Debi Sankar Ghosh.
He came from Calcutta to Britain 54 years ago and now lives at Cosham.
His son went to Churcher’s College and became a GP. His daughter went to Wykeham House and is now an environmental scientist. After working as an eye specialist in various hospitals, Dr Ghosh retired from Queen Alexandra Hospital at the age of 65. He is now 85.
His maxim is ‘work hard and smile’. In retirement he continues to follow this code.
‘I used to swim, but when you’re my age it doesn’t make any sense to swim in cold water.
‘Fifteen years ago I decided to keep fit in the gym instead. I work out six days a week on the machines at David Lloyd,’ said Dr Ghosh.
‘The Octane Fitness machine is a favourite of mine because it exercises six important joints – the wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee and hip.
‘I also do 100 repetitions each day on machines which work the chest, upper back and stomach muscles’ he explained.