CECIL and Myrtle Schiffke are community-minded Mundubberites whose faces are known to all.
For the past 13 years the couple has been volunteering for the local Queensland Ambulance Service and both are regularly seen selling tickets for chances to win prizes from the well-stocked ambulance trailer.
Early every Friday morning Cecil hooks the trailer onto his car at the QAS shed and tows it to Lyons St to set up for the day’s fundraising.
For the safety of the public, metal tracks have to be placed over the gutter and this task has become increasingly difficult for Cecil.
“I need someone to bring the trailer down for me Friday mornings and take it back Friday afternoons,” Cecil said.
“We will still sell tickets but I can’t do the heavy lifting anymore.”
Myrtle’s days of voluntary work began earlier than Cecil who retired from the council in 1992 after 35 years.
The RSL and hospital auxiliary are two of the many groups grateful for Myrtle’s help.
The pair were both involved with the Red Cross and their 10year involvement with St John’s Op Shop resulted in it moving to the present location.
Many Meals on Wheels have been delivered by the Schiffkes to elderly Mundubbera residents.
The couple is now heavily involved in Senior Citizens and Myrtle bas been in the position of president for about eight years.
She also attends meetings of the Mundubbera Community Advisory Network where she represents the Uniting Church and Senior Citizens.
Their great community spirit can be traced back to their childhood and the financial struggle they endured in the early years of their marriage.
Myrtle was the eldest girl in a family of 10 children while Cecil was one of eight children brought up on a dairy farm at Glen Eden.
Although born in Tully, Myrtle first lived in the North Burnett when, at age 16, she spent time in Gayndah to get to know her grandparents.
Unfortunately her grandmother died three months later and after working for some time as a housekeeper and then in a Murgon hotel with her aunt, Myrtle moved back up north.
When her sister, Daphne, wanted to get to know her grandfather, both moved to Gayndah where she and Cecil met and married in 1956.
Although Cecil had worked on the Gayndah bridge and in the town’s butter factory, after the marriage he and Myrtle lived and worked on the dairy farm with his parents.
“It was a drought year and we were earning two pound, 12 shillings per month and having to split it between two families,” Cecil said.
“To survive we grew our own vegies, had chooks, ducks and pigs and made our own butter and cream.”
When Cecil found work in Mundubbera the couple moved to the town where they raised their children Jennifer, Avril and Shane and became involved in the community.
When Cecil finds someone to help him with the ambulance trailer, he and Myrtle will still volunteer but will go on more holidays.
“We’ll probably go north in winter to see my family and spend more time with the grandchildren,” Myrtle said.
SUPPORTERS OF COMMUNITY: Myrtle and Cecil Schiffke volunteer tirelessly for the Mundubbera community and are looking for an able-bodied person to tow the ambulance trailer to the main street on Friday mornings and set it up.