When one reaches the age of 72, normally one would find themself a few years into enjoying retirement, greener pastures, and a good game of golf.
For Don Curry, who turns 73 next week, his retirement has seen him open the first immigration consulting business in North Bay.
“I retired at the end of 2015 from the Multicultural Centre,” Curry explained. “I was doing a little bit of consulting but I found it wasn’t enough to keep me busy and I had too much time on my hands. I enjoy helping people so I thought ‘well, there is no immigration consultant in town,’ so I spent the year to take the courses and then write the exam.”
“I had to take a number of courses from the University of British Columbia and then take an accreditation exam after that,” he added. “It was a long haul to get the accreditation to become a consultant.”
Curry was the founding Director of the North Bay Multicultural Centre, before resigning from their board in December to start this new initiative. Although only a couple of months since starting the business, Curry says he has met many different types of people.
“I thought most of the clients would be overseas,” Curry said. “It turns out its about 60 per cent local and 40 per cent overseas. I underestimated the number of local people who would need immigration services.”
In the summer, North Bay was selected as one of the communities for an immigration pilot project, which Curry says has kept him busy.
“It’s being run through the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce,” Curry said. “It should be up and running very soon, North Bay is in the last group to get going.”
“What they are going to do is look at the approximately 20 people who are living and working in North Bay who are foreign nationals,” he continued. “They will look at their situations first before they open it up to people from outside of North Bay and outside of Canada. It’s a five-year pilot and I have a couple of clients who are interested in this and I will help them as best as I can, and offer my services to the Chamber.”
Aside from the pilot project, Curry is working on and offers a wide variety of services.
“Right now, I am working on a spousal application where a Canadian citizen wants to bring his spouse over from another country,” adds Curry. “Working on extending a study permit for an international student at Canadore College, working on a humanitarian and compassion application for another client and looking at a couple of businesses that want to bring in international workers.”
Getting back to the retirement life, however, Curry still has time for that.
“I’m not a person to sit around and do nothing,” he explained. “I enjoy playing golf and I will still golf, I enjoy travelling and will still travel, and I enjoy reading and will still read. This keeps me going for all the other hours of the day.”
For more information, visit Curry’s website.