Albany Meals on Wheels vollies keep on rolling after 45 years of service

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Pat Bracknell and Melba Bembridge with Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch.
Camera IconPat Bracknell and Melba Bembridge with Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

With nearly 100 years of volunteer service between them, Albany Meals on Wheels stalwarts Pat Bracknell and Melba Bembridge are showing no signs of slowing down.

The friends have been delivering hot meals to locals in need since 1977 and after 45 years the hardworking duo say they still “love every minute”.

They were recognised last week by Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch at Chorus’ weekly roast lunch at the Albany Senior Citizens’ Centre.

Ms Bracknell said she loved meeting new people and hearing their stories while making their fortnightly deliveries.

“Some days you might not be feeling the best yourself but by the time you have finished doing it you feel a lot better because you have helped someone,” she said.

“It gives you something else to think about.”

Soroptimist International Albany’s Rosalind Sawyer, Great Southern Scout Fellowship’s Jenny Treeby and Vinnie’s Margaret Oostdam.
Camera IconSoroptimist International Albany’s Rosalind Sawyer, Great Southern Scout Fellowship’s Jenny Treeby and Vinnie’s Margaret Oostdam. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Ms Bembridge said she loved giving back alongside her friend and had made many new ones along the way.

“As I have got older myself, I know now that people need help so I keep going — that is what it is all about,” she said.

“I didn’t expect to get this recognition.

“It is something you do for life, you are happy to do that for other people.”

Three other inspiring Albany women received certificates of recognition at the celebration of those from the Great Southern honoured at the 2021 WA Volunteer Service Awards.

Rosalind Sawyer was recognised for 28 years of service with Soroptimist International Albany, Jenny Treeby for 28 years with the Great Southern Scouts and Margaret Oostdam for 27 years with St Vincent de Paul Society.

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