Ethel mak­ing a dif­fer­ence at 90

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.

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