Margaret Patterson was the toast of St Vincent de Paul’s Camperdown op shop this week after notching up 50 years of voluntary service.
Fellow volunteers joined with St Vincent de Paul Victoria management to mark the occasion at an afternoon tea on Wednesday.
Margaret Fleming and Genevieve McMillan were also honoured for giving 45 years service along with Judith Borthwick with 15 years service, Margaret Downs with 10 years and Elaine Magilton with five years service.
Mrs Patterson said she had enjoyed every one of her 50 years with the op shop.
“I love meeting all the people and working with all the lovely ladies around me,” she said.
“It’s been really good.”
Mrs Fleming said she would keep working for as long as she could.
“I love being in the shop and talking to people and it’s very rewarding to be doing something that helps others,” she said.
Mrs McMillan said she looked forward to her rostered days on at the shop.
“I’ve met all sorts of people in the shop,” she said.
“It’s a lot of fun – when you come into the shop, you never know what you might find or someone might bring in.”
St Vincent de Paul Victoria chief executive officer Sue Cattermole praised the ladies for their achievements.
“You can see the strong friendships and camaraderie you enjoy with each other and the fact that you are all so welcoming to new faces coming on board,” she said
“It’s worth noting that all the money raised through the shop stays in this community, so a lot of people would have benefited from all your good work.”
The local office has noticed an increase in people needing help to meet the cost of rising utility and education bills.
Educational costs are particularly evident with parents now required to provide laptops themselves, along with rising school fees and an increasing number of extra-curricular activities and excursions.