I found these words last week, from many years ago, my dear friend who lived in a suburb of Auckland felt very strongly that the volunteers of all sizes and ages did not receive the thanks they were due.This was sent to “ The New Zealand Herald” with a request to be published. That did not happen.My dear friend passed from this world in April, 2010. I flew from Palmerston North to Auckland to be at his funeral. Words had been carefully prepared. Then I was told the service would not be lengthy, the minister had a family member ill, eulogies had been selected from family, and friends were not able to tell of the most wonderful impact this dear man had made in their lives. Grief overwhelmed me. The final farewell was bitter-sweet, as “ Taps” was played on a bugle.
The wall hanging I made and mailed to him for his 91st birthday while he had one last visit to Auckland Hospital has been sent by his daughter to the Felixstowe Museum,to be displayed with other Coastal Forces Memorabilia. This would be the highest honour I could imagine, and I am humbled and honoured to know it hangs there, a reminder of one man’s life and many years serving in HMS.
I have taken a liberty that I cannot request, to post these words,but I am sure “The Ancient Mariner” as he called himself, would be so happy to see them published.
Photos below courtesy of the Internet.
“ Who Will Say Thank You?”
In the good old summertime, Auckland City sparkles and bustles with activity and endeavour.All Auckland systems are go!
From 5 a.m. millions of cars head for the CBD on a myriad of motorways, ant-like in determination, but snail paced in speed, road rage reverberates, gridlock grasps.
A hundred thousand siblings dawdle unwillingly to school. Shoppers throng the malls and centres throughout the wider city.Doctors doctor, Nurses nurse, Teachers teach, Journalists scribble and talk, Lawyers litigate, Police pursue. On suitable recreation days, tanned skins seek sun,sand,sea and surf.On their way to the gulf, tall sails slide gracefully, swan-like between fuming, fussing ferries.Leather on willow;clubface on golf rubber; gut strings on tennis balls, these all resound around the green pastures of the city..At night theatres, cinemas,restaurants, casinos and clubs have the hub-bub of a score of tongues and languages.
Among all this frantic activity, there is a relatively small group of Aucklanders whose hearts and minds wish to put something back into the community--- CARING
They are the Red Cross volunteers, who deliver mid-day meals to the ill, the frail, the aged and the disabled.Their responsibilities also include monitoring the current health status, and reporting anything unusual or abnormal.The age spectrum of the Volunteers runs from 85 plus at the top end to 17 or so at the younger end.They each bring some aspect of their different personalities to the recipients, for many of whom it is their only connection with the outside world each day. The Volunteers seek no recognition of their service, but perhaps a future Minister of Health could acknowledge the huge savings to the Department’s budget by supplying a plain , tastefully designed lapel pin, a Red Cross on a pearl background with a caring hand in one of the quadrants.
Do not hold your breath.
On behalf of the recipients, several thousand of them, one can only say ,” Many thanks, You are the salt of the earth”
Since the above was written, a married couple , 80 and 82 years of age, told me that they had been volunteers for twenty years, and were resigning this year for health reasons. Dedication, that says it all.
Quotation of the day from Helen Steiner Rice
“Time is not measured by the years that we live,
but by the deeds that we do and the joys that we give”
Greetings from Jean