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Arthur HalligeyInterviewer:  Tell us a bit about yourself.

Arthur:  I retired early, mainly due to health issues.  I used to be a pharmacist and had  my own business.  I participate in sports archery, which due to lockdown has been closed down for quite a long time.  We’re hoping to get back very soon. I try to keep active as much as possible.

Interviewer:  Your accent tells me you might not be from Northern Ireland?

Arthur:  No, no. I was born in England in London, but my father was  in the Royal Air Force so we tended to move around about every 18 months.  So when I was around about seven or eight, my parents decided that there was no opportunity to get some proper solid schooling.  So we settled in Belfast, and I went to a boarding school in Lisburn.  Went across to the northeast of England to university, went to Manchester for my pre-registration year.  And shortly after that, we were back to Belfast in the middle of the troubles.

Interviewer:  Those were challenging times.  Tell me how you’ve kept busy and what led you to volunteer?

Arthur:  In 2010 I got word that they were looking for people who had to do volunteer selection interviews for games makers for the London Olympics in 2012.  And, well, I’ve had training and experience in interviewing, so I thought that I could maybe give a hand.  I suddenly realized that I had quite a skills set which could be made use of and continued to volunteer with Volunteer Now from then on.

Interviewer:  So the first time you volunteered was with Volunteer Now, or was it later on, but you started with us?

Arthur:  That was my first experience.  So, I think Volunteer Now was formed shortly after that, as a result of that, but I had been volunteering in sports clubs and on committees and things like that.

Interviewer:  Do you remember why you decided to volunteer with us?

Arthur:  Well, I thought I had something to offer.  Maybe I didn’t. 😉

Interviewer:  I think the fact that we still work together means that it’s a yes.  What’s what you like most about volunteering?

Arthur:  You get to meet like-minded people, and sometimes not like-minded people which is interesting.  The feeling to be useful of being able to contribute to the community and society as a whole.  Probably what people would say giving back.  Yeah, your career doesn’t stop when you retire.

Interviewer:  Do you have any funny stories or moments that are engraved in your memories from volunteering?

Arthur:  Well, there’s lots and lots as  I must say, I’ve been involved quite a bit.  One thing which was a spinoff from Volunteer Now, as it was advertised on their website  – is volunteering at HMS Caroline.  This is is a first World War surviving ship, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland.  They were looking for people to do a little bit of work on it just a couple of days.  And from that I’ve got really involved and I now do talks to visitors.  It’s great fun.

Interviewer:  Thanks for sharing that with us.  Anything else that you would like to include or say today?

Arthur:  I get a sense of achievement from it, a good feeling of a job well done.  I like meeting with the general public, and in some ways, if it’s an internationally recognized event like the 148th golf tournament, welcoming people and promoting Northern Ireland to the wider population as well.

Interviewer:  It’s great to hear that you feel almost as an ambassador between the events and the community here.

Arthur:  Yeah, well, I mean, I’ve done several things like The Tall  Ships event, for example and Routes, which was an Industry event promoting new air routes and connections to and from Belfast Airports.  There’s lots of different things that I’m involved in that I really feel I can contribute to if necessary.

Interviewer:  Thank you for sharing that with us.  And thank you for doing this interview with me.

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