Valma Smith has been awarded a medalion from the Red Cross for her volunteer work.June 4, 2014 3:45am
After 50 years of service to the Red Cross, Kyabramite Valma Smith has been honoured during a ceremony at Government House.
Red Cross Patron and Lady Governor Elizabeth Chernov presented Mrs Smith with a medallion and golden wreath for her volunteer efforts.
Mrs Smith said she was flattered to receive the award and was impressed with Government House and the ceremony.
‘‘It was quite impressive and I am quite honoured,’’ she said.
‘‘To start with, not everybody would be able to get down to Government House and also I don’t think there are too many that have done 50 years.’’
The Red Cross is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with the charity organisation founded at the outbreak of World War I.
Mrs Smith began volunteering with the Red Cross in 1964, not long after she married her husband and local dairy farmer Hugh and moving to Cooma.
With training from the Royal Children’s Hospital, Mrs Smith went on to nurse in Rochester for seven years and at Acacia House Nursing Home in Shepparton for 25 years.
She also worked one day a week at Warramunda Village for 17 years.
During this time, she had six children, but still managed to find time for school activities, nursing and volunteering.
‘‘I was busy enough with six children, but I always felt like like doing that bit more,’’ she said.
‘‘It was also a good social group and you felt like you were doing something that went to a bigger cause than just Cooma, which is quite small.’’
Mrs Smith said her involvement with the Red Cross in her early years began with catering work.
‘‘We did a lot of catering when we were younger,’’ she said.
‘‘We would help cater for clearance sales and weddings and other town events to help raise money. But what I was mainly involved in was Red Cross Calling where we travelled out to all the properties in the district to raise money.’’
The Kyabram retiree continues to volunteer each March for Red Cross Calling and is encouraging of any potential volunteers in the community.
‘‘You’re doing something for a good cause and you do get something out of it yourself,’’ she said.
‘‘Just hang in there.’’
Today’s guest opinion column comes from former Shepparton resident and Notre Dame College alumni Joshua Nappa, who now studies economics and finance at RMIT in Melbourne. Joshua has written about the potential he sees in Shepparton reduce unemployment and help our retail sector.
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