Technology of Today is Winning Older Friends

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Technology for older friends

As Freemasons, we try to find useful and appreciated gifts for our Lodge widows each Christmas.

In the past we’ve given food items, scarves, notebooks and more, but I always felt that the best gift would be experience based.

In early 2018, an older doctor friend of mine complained that on his walks, he was getting bored. Knowing he was technologically challenged and didn’t like earbuds, I set about to discover which earphones could contain the music inside and play songs automatically when turned on.

It took a little research and after locating the right headset from overseas, all I had to do was convert his music into the right format and load it onto a micro-SD card. The quality of the sound was surprisingly good and for months now, my friend raves about the unit and his experience with it.

A gift of nostalgia and melody

Knowing that music is very subjective to each individual and that it would be impossible for our older ladies to convert and download their own music; I was stymied for a while. 

Then I came up with the idea to load the system with popular music from the 30s, 40s and 50s, as most of our widows are in their late 80s or 90s. Searching for nostalgic music of that time period, I found love songs, patriotic music of the war period, swing, some jazz and a lot of classical.

We have now distributed the headsets to our Lodge widows and they contain about 7-hours of continuous music. “It was a lovely surprise to be given something like this”, said Maide Belk a Maungatapu resident for 50-years, “I do appreciate all the time you put into it”.

Contemplating further, while thinking about someone she knows, Maide added, “I wonder if it could be good for people who have trouble falling asleep”?

Another local widow, nonagenarian, Reta Fendall also commented on her headset gift, “When I go for my walks, people passing while listening to music often don’t acknowledge me. I guess I’ll be in my own world too now”, she laughed.

For further information about obtaining a headset for your loved one, contact the Editor in Tauranga on 07-262 1000, or email: headset@baylive.co.nz.

By William Kennedy Tauranga Lodge No 125 – “I write for this magazine to share tales of Freemasonry with our community.”