Hard work is secret to a long life

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Cecilia Sounness has volunteered at the Mt Barker CWA for over 60 years.
Camera IconCecilia Sounness has volunteered at the Mt Barker CWA for over 60 years. Credit: Laurie Benson/Pictures: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

In 63 years of volunteering with the Country Women’s Association in Mt Barker, Cecilia Sounness has seen a lot of change.

She started with the group at a time when it was catering for the Mt Barker cattle sales every week.

Back then, Mrs Sounness says, they were unable to cook hot food at the facilities and had to walk “100 yards” for water.

The 97-year-old still volunteers around town, whether it be at the golf club, the hospital, the church or with the CWA. She has also devoted time to the local cricket and football club, and the no-longer running Mt Barker Show.

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She is firm in her belief hard work is the secret to a long life — and she has had plenty of it.

“I think I have always in my life been involved and I don’t mind helping someone,” she said. “Helping people and doing things for people has never hurt me.

“I think it comes from my father.

“He helped everyone when we were on the farm — that’s where I get it from.”

She said her parents Alice and Colly Moir, of Amelup, died in 1941 when their car ran off the King River Bridge.

“I have had no parents since I was 19 so you haven’t got any options but to work hard,” she said.

“I was going to study nursing but when my mother and father were killed, I looked after my siblings.”

Mrs Sounness has been president of the CWA multiple times, retiring last year from her sixth stint in the role. She has also held the position of secretary, person in charge of craft, and caterer.

While numbers at the CWA have dwindled to around 10 women, she hopes the group will continue to be a vital part of the community.

She still plays golf every Wednesday at Mt Barker Golf Club and she hopes to play in the club championships this year.

July will mark 77 years on the family farm, Merryup, where Mrs Sounness still lends a helping hand to her son.

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