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Margaret Smith wins Seniors Award

Described as a “champion” of Bland Shire seniors, Margaret Smith received her due recognition in the spotlight when she was announced as the winner of the Bland Shire Seniors Week award.

A near capacity crowd of 220 seniors cheered in unison when a shocked and humbled Mrs Smith was announced as the winner at Sunday’s Bland Shire Council Seniors luncheon at the West Wyalong Services and Citizens Club.

It was a fitting recognition and reward for years of service to the community and in particular seniors.

While she is an active volunteer with various community organisations who serve and represent seniors, it is her private actions outside the public eye which make Mrs Smith extra special.

An inspirational, kind and empathetic lady, Mrs Smith makes it her mission to visit older people who are sick in their homes, place of residence or the Hospital to comfort and support them as well as their family members.

She phones a number of elderly citizens every second day to have a chat and ensure they are feeling well and is only ever a phone call away for anyone needing a helping hand or just feeling lonely.

Mrs Smith also helps out elderly people whenever needed by doing chores such as laundry, cooking or shopping or driving them to the doctor or the pharmacy to meet appointments.

She is a volunteer for meals on wheels and a reliable friendly face who clients look forward to greeting with each delivery.

She has also been a faithful servant of the wider community for much of her adult life.

Mrs Smith has been a member of Bellarwi CWA for 45 years and held all positions within the branch, including president for many years. She has been group president twice, group vice president and group publicity officer.

She is treasurer of the West Wyalong Hospital Auxiliary, volunteers weekly with the Kurrajong Waratah Adults with a Disability program, helps out on Anzac Day, VP Day and Remembrance Day and was also involved in the organisation of the commemorative stones to mark the districts of Bellarwi and Alleena and the preparation of the Alleena book.

A regular at the annual seniors luncheon where she enjoys catching up with friends and socialising with many of the people she helps on a regular basis, Mrs Smith was taken completely by surprise by the award – which was presented by Bland Shire Deputy Mayor, Liz McGlynn.

She accepted the honour with typical humility and by the next day, when the music had stopped and the taste of a delicious complimentary meal was all but a pleasant memory, was back to serving the community with her usual zest.

The free Bland Shire Seniors luncheon was organised by Council’s Community Care Service while the West Wyalong Services and Citizens Club sponsored the musical entertainment. The afternoon attracted seniors from across the Shire.

Earlier in Seniors Week, Council partnered with the Riverina Institute of TAFE West Wyalong Campus to hold a computer course for seniors introducing participants to email and the internet. Due to popular demand a second session has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 2 which has also been booked out.