Vi Leather’s mighty community spirit
Thanking volunteers for their tireless work
WHEN Vi Leather got on stage to accept the Australia Day Citizen of the Year award at Monto community centre, she delivered a passionate address celebrating the volunteers in town.
The 89-year old is something of a legend in the community for her tireless volunteer work with Meals on Wheels, the high school tuckshop and the Monto dinners.
“I was over the moon; I lived in Monto for 72 years,” Vi said.
“I really didn’t expect it because I thought there was a lot of other people who have done what I’ve done, but I suppose 36 years of meals on wheels is a long time.”
Vi was volunteering up until six months ago when she had a debilitating stroke.
“I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t walk and I couldn’t eat or anything,” Vi said.
“The doctor says it would be six months until I could walk again.”
Though she has difficulty walking unassisted, six months on from the stroke her mind is still sharp.
“They put me out of the hospital, I gave them an awful time because I didn’t know what I was doing,” Vi said.
“My brain was not my brain, it was someone else’s.”
During that time, she lived with her daughter Maree and her husband in PHOTOS: JACK LAWRIE Bundaberg who looked after her.
Even after returning to Monto, Maree keeps in touch with Vi to check up.
She gets assistance from local volunteers to drive her around and deliver meals on wheels, like she used to do.
“There are a lot of people that go unnoticed, so that’s why I said the award is not just for me but for everybody,” Vi said.
There are a lot of people that go unnoticed, so that’s why I said the award is not just for me but for everybody — Vi Leather
CELEBRATED VOLUNTEER: Vi Leather was named Citizen of the Year at the Australia Day awards in Monto.
Vi speaks on stage with Cr Paul Lobegeier and State MP Jeff Seeney.