WHO IS VICKY IRELAND?
A mother and sister
I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. So first and foremost I am a daughter and sister who lived my first 13 years on the Bluff, Durban. It was a wonderful free childhood even though we were not financially wealthy. Our Dad built a super see-saw which also went in circles as well as a double swing set on which we could swing really high. We always had lots of local children in the garden as well. Those were the days when children could play in the side streets and doors were always left open. With my older sisters I did the first 8 years of schooling on the Bluff and, as our mother retained all our school reports, I see that I was good at academics but useless in any form of sport.
Scholar and Student
Soon after my 13th birthday we moved from the Bluff to Morningside/Greyville and I was enrolled at Mitchell High School where a great-aunt who was a Latin sensation was the Head Mistress. Fortunately this was for just 1 year of my high school career but it did mean that Latin was an essential subject for all my high school years. On reflection, I cannot say that I have really regretted that as reading, doing crosswords and playing other word games take many hours of my spare time and as Latin is the basis of many English words it has truly helped my understanding and finding answers to clues. Unbelievably I was elected the Captain of our Sports House and I think that this was because there was no sportswoman in our Grade 12 class and I just happened to be someone who is willing to try anything. Many are unaware that I am always up to a dare, once with, what could have resulted in fairly disastrous consequences when I was in Grade 10 and my elder sister in Grade 12.
During my final year at school I was encouraged to apply for an AFS Exchange Programme and was very privileged to have been selected. This immediately made me a daughter and sister all over again. An AFS student gets to live as a member of a family in every sense of the word and I still am part of that family. My ‘American sister’ and I are still very close even though we do not contact each other on a regular basis. We have visited each other over the years and each time it is as if we have never been apart.
Wife and mother
I began university studies for a BSc degree but dropped it after a year. Even though I loved the subjects as an interest I realised that being a marine scientist was not really for me. I had met Trevor, who is now been my husband for 44 years, before leaving for the US and within a year of our marriage we had a lovely daughter so this made me both a wife and mother. Three years later we added a son to make our family complete. I was a full time housewife and mother for just 5 years but realised that I was not a domesticated person and so began a morning job.
My employment began as a clerk for a political party and over the 14 years I worked for the party I rose through the ranks to become a Regional Organiser. It was during this time that I realised what my true talent and interest was – an Administrator and Office Organiser. This led me to study for a BAdmin and a few years later for an Hons degree in General Management. These stood me in good stead for my next job as Administrator for a Department at the local Medical School. I was later promoted to Administrator of PG Research and Grants and then to the position of Assistant Registrar for the University. I loved doing this work and, after leaving in 2002 I offered my talents and knowledge as a volunteer administrator to the church which I attend and to a Social Justice and Action NGO. In addition, I finally wrote a book about all the legal and administrative things one has to do when a person dies. For more information go to www.legalaspectsofdying.co.za
Having had a taste of travel and discovery, first with our parents who loved to take us to different places around and about – never far or expensive but learning was the main aim – and secondly, through the opportunity to spend a year in the US I said to Trevor that once he too was retired we must travel to places in South Africa, Africa and all around the world. We have been so privileged to do just that in the past 8 years. We are members of a holiday club which has given us great opportunities particularly in SA but also in other parts of the world. Our daughter and her husband have lived in various African countries so we have seen those when visiting them. Besides seeing the world itself we have met friends and family that we never believed we would. I also have a travel site http://www.travellinlite.co.za
Maybe this should be first as it definitely is not last in my life. It is actually the basis of my life. There is so much about being a Christian that has made all the above possible and really special. I grew up in a Christian home and it just continued from there. Within the church that I attend I am a Lay Minister and a leader in various areas.