Having notched up 40 years of volunteer work for Meals on Wheels, Pam MacDonald is not about to retire anytime soon – and that willingness to help others was recognised when she received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
Mrs MacDonald maybe a keen volunteer but she certainly was not so keen to talk about herself when the Argus dropped by her home in Branxton last week.
“Don’t make the story too long and all about me,” our reluctant interviewee stated.
“I only volunteer a few of hours each month to Branxton Meals on Wheels – it’s no big deal really.”
I only volunteer a few of hours each month to Branxton Meals on Wheels – it's no big deal really.- Pam MacDonald
But over 40 years giving up a couple of hours each fortnight to cook and then deliver the meals to Branxton residents there is no doubting her commitment to others.
The 87-year-old once devoted many hours every week to numerous voluntary organisations but these days she has cut her workload back to Meals and Wheels and the St John's Anglican Church Branxton Op Shop – both located within an easy walk from the home she shares with husband Hunter.
Born and raised in Glendon, Mrs MacDonald spent many years living just down the road at Elderslie before making a retirement move into Branxton in 1993.
Apart from Meals on Wheels, Mrs MacDonald was a regular visitor to Singleton’s Mercy Nursing Home where each week she would set the ladies hair.
She undertook that job for 20 years and only stopped in December last year.
With her family, including five children living nearby, Mrs MacDonald says she loves her community and enjoys getting out and about and being active in supporting that community.
She was very proud to receive the Senior Citizen of the Year from Cessnock City Council in 2011.
“At that time I was doing a lot for volunteering – nowadays I don’t do near as much so this award came as a bit of a surprise,” she said.
Her citation read: For service to the community of the Hunter.
Volunteer, Branxton Meals on Wheels, since 1977.
Member, Singleton View Club, 1985-2014.
Former Volunteer, Mercy Rest Nursing Home.
Member, City of Maitland Retirement Village Association, since 1990.
Member, Parish Council, St John's Anglican Church Branxton, current and Past Member, Anglican Ladies Guild, and Volunteer, Op Shop, since 1998.
Volunteer, Singleton Driver Reviver, current.
Awards and recognition include:
Senior Citizen of the Year, Cessnock City Council, 2011.