Ethel making a difference at 90
Horsham’s Ethel Holland believes giving back to her community has filled her with a sense of purpose and has encouraged others to do the same.
Mrs Holland, who turned 90 last month, has volunteered at Wimmera Base Hospital Opportunity Shop for the past 12 years, including eight as manager.
Mrs Holland said she loved working in the opportunity shop with ‘wonderful people’.
“The girls are always just so willing and helpful and work really hard,” she said.
“They’re very conscious of keeping all the money raised in Horsham and it goes towards buying lifesaving equipment for the hospital.”
Mrs Holland said the opportunity shop had been a ‘lifesaver’ after her husband Ron died three years ago. “He wasn’t sick for very long – in fact we were surprised when he died – but he always encouraged me to come here, because he knew it was good for me,” she said.
“I can recommend volunteering so highly. It’s so rewarding and it gives you a sense of purpose in life.”
Mrs Holland said she was preparing to step down as manager.
“I’m still going to work here, but I won’t have all the responsibilities that come with being the manager,” she said.
“We’ve got a nice lot of new, younger girls who’ve come on board lately, and that’s lovely.
“It’s good to have an injection of – well, they’re not really youth, but I look upon them as younger people. I suppose anyone who is 75 is young to me.”
Mrs Holland celebrated her 90th birthday with family in Horsham.
She was born in Geelong on April 15, 1928 and came to the Wimmera as a primary school teacher in the summer of 1948.
She taught at Murra Warra Primary School and married Ron Holland of Wail in April, 1951.
The couple has three children, Jennifer, Suzanne and Maree, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Mrs Holland was involved in farming activities for most of her married life, retiring to Horsham with Ron in 1985.
She is a life member of Horsham City Bowling Club and volunteers at the opportunity shop on Mondays and Fridays.