Cultivating a Life of Joy - Rolf Koch

In the heart of Hanover, Germany, on the 17th of February 1932, Rolf Koch entered the world with a destiny that would weave together a lifetime of experiences, challenges and triumphs. Born to Kate

and Karl Koch, Rolf’s early years were influenced by a mother who once navigated the world of sales and a father who was an engineer. The Koch family grew with the addition of Rolf’s siblings, Horst and Karl, and their home became a hub of warmth and discipline.

As the eldest son, Rolf embarked on his educational journey at Hanover Public School and High School. His favourite subjects were art, a passion that would stay with him for life and sports, with long-distance running, tennis and golf capturing his heart. These early interests foreshadowed the diverse range of skills and hobbies that would shape his future.

One significant milestone in Rolf’s life was his three-year apprenticeship in gardening in Germany. This period laid the foundation for a lifelong love affair with the earth, nurturing plants, and sculpting landscapes. Gardening became a source of solace and it’s a passion that continues to bring him joy to this day.

Reflecting on cherished memories, Rolf fondly recalls the moments spent with family and friends. Amidst those recollections, the three-year gardening apprenticeship stands out as an enriching experience that paved the way for his later endeavours in landscaping and renovating homes.

During his working years, Rolf immersed himself in a variety of trades, from plumbing to carpentry. Each task brought its own challenges, but Rolf relished the opportunity to learn and master new skills. His dedication to his work and the satisfaction derived from renovating homes left an indelible mark on his career.

Rolf’s journey, however, was not without its hurdles. As a gay man, navigating societal expectations proved challenging. While his mother embraced his identity, his father struggled to come to terms with it. Rolf’s story serves as a testament to the importance of following one’s heart and staying true to oneself, regardless of the obstacles.

The world witnessed significant changes over Rolf’s lifetime, particularly in the acknowledgment of diverse relationships.

The recognition of LGBTQIA+ is a development he views with both appreciation and reflection.

Now in his senior years, Rolf finds joy and fulfilment in watching golf, tennis, and cricket. Music, cooking, outings, meeting friends, and even fishing have become cherished pastimes. Embracing new pursuits, he has taken up golf, dancing and camping, even cultivating a garden with his favourite plants – orchids, roses, poppies and tulips.

With a lifetime of experiences, Rolf imparts valuable advice to younger generations: “Be careful choosing friends.” Drawing from a German saying, he adds, “Make friends with people who sing because bad people have no song.” It’s a lesson in surrounding oneself with positivity and authentic connections.

In essence, Rolf’s wisdom encourages others to embrace life, appreciate its diversity and be kind to one another. His story is a testament to resilience, authenticity and the enduring power of having a positive outlook throughout the journey of life.

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