“I’m retired but not tired,” shared William. The 69-year-old now spends his days “waking up late, reading the Bible, and counselling people”. He would call up friends who are facing problems to give them a listening ear, something he calls “doing God’s work”. The devout Christian is also currently on “standby” as a volunteer with Meals-on-Wheels, a meal delivery programme which aims to meet the daily nutritional needs of homebound elderly. When there is a shortage of manpower, William would drive the other volunteers in his weekend car or the church’s vehicle to the required destinations such as Bishan, Sin Ming and Potong Pasir for volunteers to drop off the food packets.
He is also a good man to ask for travelling advice. William revealed that he was with the Singapore Airlines (SIA) for 31 years and was happy to share – “Hawaii for holiday, Hong Kong for the food, and Australia for retirement.” The flight attendant joked about his experiences in the air, “Do you know what SIA means? It means Sorry International Airline. I’ve apologised on flights for more than a 100 million times!” Yet what drew him to stay on the job was his love for travel. He describes his job akin to being in a restaurant, “but you get out to a different country each time”. These constant movements across borders are perhaps why the father of three feels very comfortable living separately from his children. A lover of privacy and freedom, he shared that living separately has also allowed him to avoid more responsibility, “Look, now I don’t have to take care of my grandchildren! Our work is done, now it’s the time to have our joy.”
Before William left for his cell group meeting in Calvary Baptist Church, he advises seniors like him to find fulfilment in their lives, “the greatest fear of retirement is to not know what to do after retiring. Find something fulfilling to do, whether it is earthly fulfilment or heavenly fulfilment.”