A well-deserved honour
Congratulations to an integral member of the Resthaven community, Mr Ken Wells (88), who was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his lifetime of contributions to the Murray Bridge community.
Ken has dedicated more than 35 years to Resthaven as a volunteer, 70 years to his local agricultural show, 50 years to the Methodist and Uniting Church, and much more over his lifetime.
Ken recalls, ‘I took a strange phone call back in April from a lady at Government House, asking if I was ok to be nominated for an award—I didn’t know what the award was going to be then! I said, “I suppose so,” and I didn’t hear about it for a couple of months.’
‘Turns out, there were quite a few nominations from my local community in Murray Bridge, who had listed off a whole range of volunteer commitments I have been involved in over the years—that’s what happens when you live in a small town, everyone knows your business!’
‘I am humbled that I was thought of. It’s not something you ever expect as a volunteer. You do it because it’s the right thing to do. I’ll continue volunteering for as long as I am physically able.’
With a goal to age well into the future, Ken recently decided to become a client of Resthaven Murray Bridge, Hills & Fleurieu Community Services, receiving fortnightly domestic support in his home.
‘I know the people well—the staff, volunteers, and clients—I’ve been around for a while! It was about time I joined the other side of it and start receiving services. It helps me age well and stay at home for longer, as it’s getting a bit too difficult to clean the wet areas at home.’
Now, even as a client, Ken continues to volunteer at both Resthaven Murray Bridge, Hills & Fleurieu Community Services and Resthaven Murray Bridge.
‘I share a slideshow on the history of the area. We get into all sorts of discussions about the past, remembering landmarks, transport, and events. It’s great fun to share a piece of history with those who were there with us at the time.’
On the future of volunteering, Ken says, ‘It’s so important for young ones to carry on the community work of volunteering. It’s volunteers who keep things running, especially out in the country when so many people need support. Without volunteers, a lot of places would fall apart. I hope the younger generations keep up the good work we do.’
Congratulations on your award, Ken, and thank you for your many years of volunteering!
South Australia’s very first Week of Ageing Well starts October 1, with seven days of celebrating ageing well in SA.
It’s a time to connect with each other, celebrate life, value the older people in our lives, and discover new ways that can support ageing well. To learn more, click here.