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Active Retirees : Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active RetireesTM | 55 T om Ware loves a good yarn, and he’s exceptionally good at telling one. His stories are so compelling that he has been given the titles ‘Master Storyteller’, ‘The Prince of Storytellers’ and ‘Tusitala Tom’ (Tusitala, or storyteller, being the name bestowed upon Robert Louis Stevenson by the locals during the writer's time in Samoa). Regularly invited to be a guest speaker at Probus clubs, Tom has told many a tale – 30, in fact. Some original, others based on historical events. Tom’s own story of how he became a storyteller begins in 1972 when he joined Toastmasters, a not-for -profit that provides public speaking and leadership training. He soon discovered he had a flair for telling stories, regularly praised by his fellow Toastmasters. So when he took a voluntary redundancy in 1995, Tom turned his passion into a career. “I began to speak more regularly at various organisations, including a number of Probus clubs,” he says. “When you’re retired you can either sit on the shelf or be busier than you’ve ever been, and I chose to be busy.” Of the 30 yarns Tom has perfected over the years, he has four signature stories: the sinking of the Titanic, the disappearance of an aircraft over the Pacific Ocean, the experience of Navy Seals on Macquarie Island and a glimpse into the lives of coal miners. While they are based on historical events, Tom maintains the stories are works of fiction. But each is told with knowledge that few who weren’t present can provide. Tom credits his maritime and aviation background for adding authenticity to his stories. “I was in the navy for six years, which included a stint on Macquarie Island, and I worked in civil aviation as a radio operator for 11 years,” he says. “When I tell the stories I can use the relevant language.” Tom says he will continue storytelling for as long as there is demand for it, but he fears it is a dying art. “The focus of storytelling is usually on children – there are few who do what I do for older folk, which is a shame because there’s quite a demand for it.” •• The storyteller The ancient art of storytelling is alive and well in Probus clubs, with members lending their ears to the prince of storytellers, Tom Ware. By leanne mezrani Tom is available to tell his tales to Probus clubs. For his details or details of other speakers to entertain and inform your members, contact PSP. W: www.probussouthpacific.org E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 1800 630 488 (toll free) or (02) 9689 0200 guEsT spEaKEr proFilE GPhoto
Active Retirees April-May 2012
Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012