Rockfall from the 2011 earthquake forced Mr Mitchell to leave his home in Sumner. Moving in with his grandson created the unique opportunity for him to be active in his great grandchildren’s lives. At the grand age of 91, this Scotsman exemplifies all that family should be: spending time with those we love and sharing what we have.
Several times a week, Mr Mitchell transports Eve (8) and Primo (5) from St Anne’s Catholic School in Woolston to swimming lessons and Irish dancing classes. He smiles, saying “I’m fortunate to be able to spend so much time with my great grandchildren. There’s always something happening around here…mostly it’s fun.”
A Scot at heart, Mr Mitchell understands the importance of saving. Opening Catholic Development Fund (CDF) accounts for four of his New Zealand based great-grandchildren gives him the opportunity to teach younger members of his family to save. Birthdays and success in sport or at school are an excuse for Mr Mitchell to gift a wee bonus throughout the year, stating “as teenagers they will each have a nest egg in case they want to buy their first car or to study.”
Mr Mitchell’s personal CDF Funeral Savings Account gives peace of mind, knowing money is set aside for funeral expenses, musing, “while waiting for that day, I know that my money is safely invested in the CDF which in turn helps the Church’s mission. Bank interest rates are low anyway so I never really think about my personal interest returns. What I like about the CDF is that some of my interest is pooled and reinvested on my behalf… it’s good knowing I’m helping Bishop Paul.”
It is obvious that relationships are a major reason Mr Mitchell appreciates the CDF. He quite openly admits that CDF Administrator “Mel [Perry] is so welcoming… I couldn’t speak more highly of her. She’s very helpful and knowledgeable … for me it’s quite important to know the people who are dealing with my accounts.”