Graduating from a welding class may sound like a wonderful achievement. And it’s even more amazing when you learn that the graduate is 70 years old!
Allan Robichaud studied and practiced welding for a year, the result of which was graduating in welding and metal fabrication with the New Brunswick Community College.
“This was the best year of my retirement,” said Robichaud in home in Quispamsis. “I felt more disciplined. I really enjoyed it.” He said the schedule, classes and demands of the course load brought Robichaud a sense of structure he had been missing in his life.
Allan decided to go back to school at age 69 — making him twice as old as his instructor — after nearly a decade of retirement and 37 years working in corrections at the Saint John Regional Corrections Centre in New Brunswick (Canada).
Not convinced he will be returning to the workplace any time soon, Allan does have plans to use his skills to “tinker” and “fiddle” to complete a varierty of projects.
His garage already hosts an intricate fire pit screen with cut-out silhouettes of moose, bear and fir trees. He has also built several “rocket stoves” assembled in military ammo crates, a concept of his own design.
Robichaud says he’d highly recommend going back to school as a ‘mature student’. In fact, after graduating with an A average, he says he hasn’t ruled out going back to school again.
“I was very pleased that I was asked to do this interview,” said Robichaud. “Because if it serves as motivation for other people who are sitting on the fence, wondering what they are going to do with the rest of their life whether they’re 30, or 40, 50, 60, or 70 or more, I think adult education is a great thing.”
“It frames the mind. In a way it defines you as a person. And it gives you the satisfaction of accomplishment,” he said.