De­liv­er­ing lots of hard work and mem­o­ries

Meals on Wheels helpers com­mended

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

JAN and Ken Hut­son didn’t go into Meals on Wheels ser­vice to win awards.

But last Thurs­day, the gen­er­ous pair were named Most Ded­i­cated Vol­un­teers at a lun­cheon at Monto Hospi­tal, in­tended to hon­our Monto Meals De­liv­ery Ser­vice vol­un­teers who have de­voted their time and en­ergy to help­ing out se­niors in the com­mu­nity.

“I ob­jected, I re­fused a lot of nom­i­na­tions for things un­til some­one said to me you’re wrong, be­cause even if you don’t want the glory, it brings to the fore the or­gan­i­sa­tion and the work they do,” she said.

Ev­ery vol­un­teer re­ceived an ap­pre­ci­a­tion cer­tifi­cate; the Hut­sons were named Most Ded­i­cated, while Hazel Schultz was named Vol­un­teer of the Year and Dawn Dowl­ing re­ceived an award for Long­est Ser­vice.

When Jan started as a vol­un­teer in 1986, she’d been work­ing as a school tuck­shop vol­un­teer de­spite liv­ing on a prop­erty 70km out of town.

In that time, she’d turned the weekly vol­un­teer­ing into an ex­cuse to shop in town, so de­cided to make the switch to Meals on Wheels once her son left school.

In those days, Meals on Wheels vol­un­teers cooked their own food; liv­ing on a farm meant they had the means to do it.

“There was vir­tu­ally very lit­tle food that was bought ex­cept for meat,” Jan said.

There were also no re­cy­clable or throw-away con­tain­ers; ev­ery­thing was washed and reused.

Ken Hut­son got in­volved much later when they came off the land in 2001.

Liv­ing in town has made the run eas­ier. The vol­un­teers take ei­ther the “hospi­tal side” or the “town side”, get their meals at the hospi­tal and visit each house in turn.

“It’s beau­ti­ful go­ing to peo­ple’s houses to say hello and they like see­ing you as well,” Hazel said.

The hospi­tal lun­cheon also bid farewell to Fay and Bert Brown, who re­tired from Meals on Wheels ear­lier in the year.

The Meals on Wheels monthly ros­ter is get­ting thin­ner, with Monto Ex­cel-Care reg­u­larly fill­ing spots on the sched­ule.

The Hut­sons said they gave their vote to Hazel be­cause her name was of­ten on the ros­ter.

De­spite that, none of the win­ning vol­un­teers have plans of quit­ting any time soon.

“We’re look­ing at just go­ing as far as we can,” Jan said.

“But here’s hop­ing some­one does take over,” Fay said.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

DED­I­CA­TION: Jan and Ken Hut­son and Hazel Schultz, along with Dawn Dowl­ing (not pic­tured), were com­mended for their ser­vice to Meals on Wheels.

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