Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of Charlestown and District Meals on Wheels. After half a century of delivering lovely lunches to clients who cannot cook for themselves, the organisation is now one of only 19 Meals on Wheels branches in the state that freshly cooks all items on its menu.
The organisation currently has 160 volunteers, many of whom have been giving their time for years.
One familiar face is Horst Kuegler, 75, a former marine engineer who has been working in Charlestown's kitchen for 20 years.
The Dudley local said he hoped to stay on for as long as possible. "I like everything about it, including the company," Mr Kuegler said.
Belmont's Jan and Stan Shephard, aged 71 and 78 respectively, have a combined total of 25 years volunteering for the branch.
Ms Shephard gets to the James Street kitchen at 6.30am, three times a week, to help prepare the day's meals.
Clients have a choice of main meals and also receive soup and a dessert. All of which arrive hot to their tables.
Ms Shephard's favourite dishes are the Apricot chicken, and the newly added Moroccan lamb. Mr Shephard's is rissoles.
"I joined because I wasn't working and at the time my husband was," Ms Shephard said. "14 years later I'm still doing it. I've enjoyed meeting so many nice people."
Mr Shephard joined his wife in the kitchen when he retired.
"It's a nice feeling helping people," he said.
Dennis Tawan, 65, an army veteran, is the "newbie" at James Street.
He signed up to help out last year after recovering from a life-threatening case of hodgkins lymphoma.
"It gives me something to do," he said.
Mr Tawan said it had been straightforward to learn the kitchen's systems under the guidance of the organisation's employed helpers: kitchen supervisor Celia Deaves and service coordinator Leanne Rodwell.
Ms Rodwell believes the longevity of the organisation comes down to the passion of its volunteers.
"The meals are fresh-cooked here in Charlestown, and all the ingredients are bought here too. The volunteers are very proud what they produce."
The James Street cottage was a gift of Charlestown Rotary in 1974. Rotary will join the organisation's 50th anniversary celebration at Central Leagues Club on Tuesday at 10am.
The day is of special significance to Ms Rodwell as she is retiring in November. She has managed the branch for the past 10 years.
"The volunteers here are like family," she said. "Everyone is friendly and we all care about each other."
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