Travelling, spending time with family and enjoying freedom away from the suit and tie, have been key highlights of former mayor, Peter Blackmore OAM's retirement.
In 2017, Mr Blackmore stepped down from public life after leading Maitland for more than 22 years as mayor, and has been enjoying retirement with his wife, Robyn, ever since.
The pair have a motor home and have been travelling around New South Wales and Queensland whenever possible with lockdowns and spending time with friends and family along the way.
Mr Blackmore said the thing he missed most with restrictions was local community groups and the functions they would hold, as well as chatting to people on High Street or in Stockland Green Hills.
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"I don't miss the suit and I don't miss the collar and tie, it's just beautiful to be able to relax and still be able to see people," he said.
After representing the Maitland community at a local and state level for 37 years, Mr Blackmore said it was very much a joint effort between Robyn and himself, and said it's unfortunate the spouse of the mayor doesn't get the due credit they thoroughly deserve.
"They accompany the mayor to functions and there has got to be times where they would like to have a life to themselves," he said.
Mr Blackmore said he thinks his successor, Mayor Cr Loretta Baker, deserves another term at the upcoming election and also deserves to have a majority of support in the council chamber.
"I think Loretta has done a very good job, I've seen her quite a number of times in High Street and she's very supportive," he said.
"Even though I'm not Labor, I'm yet to find Loretta pushing her side of politics to the disadvantage of the city."
Mr Blackmore also likes candidate Michael Cooper, and said he believes Mr Cooper has the makings of leading our city one day.
One wish Mr Blackmore has for Maitland is that it becomes a certified RV (recreation vehicle) friendly city, realising the amount of tourism it would bring after becoming a member of the Australian motor home community himself.
Speaking to The Mercury from his motor home on a trip to Goulburn to visit family, Mr Blackmore explained this certification tells the huge RV community there will be places for them to park and camp.
"Just in the motor vehicle club I'm a member of there are 70,000 members, and being declared an RV friendly town would encourage people to come in and shop for what they need," he said.
Mr and Mrs Blackmore will be visiting family in their motor home even more in the new year, with their second great grandchild expected in March.
As Maitland continues to develop, Mr Blackmore said it's good to see more people settling here and the commercial development that brings, especially the new Maitland hospital which will bring many jobs.
"It's going to be wonderful with the new hospital, it's a beautiful building and I'd love to see through it one day," he said.
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