THE NATIONAL ANZAC CENTRE, ALBANY
I plan to keep going until I can’t do it anymore. I did stop for a while but keep coming back, and will continue to – rain, hail and shine.
Tell us how you spend your days. What do you do?
I’m a meeter and greeter, I used to guide the tours and now do the meet and greet as people came down at the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum (the Forts). I used to volunteer 7 days a week, I then moved to a couple of days a week, now I only do four hours a week on a Sunday morning. How busy it is really depending on the weather, on a nice day you get people coming up a bit later at around 10.30 to the Forts after they’ve been for a swim.
Did you always plan to work in this industry?
I had a cousin who was the roster clerk and every Saturday she used to umpire local softball so she would ask me if I would cover her and stay on the gate for a couple of hours to collect donations. I enjoyed it so much that I joined up after that as it was a great way to stay involved in the community.
So, how did you get into tourism and hospitality?
Moved down in 1965 as I had got a job in Albany and found myself having to travel from Katanning every weekend. I used to work at the post office and then for Albany Sea Rescue working on the radio. I found myself wanting to be around people and communicating with people so tourism seemed like a great fit.
I love doing it and have no qualms with it at all, working in tourism and meeting new people keeps life quite interesting.
What do you love most about the industry?
The tourism industry is great, you think you know a lot about the history of Albany and Surrounds, and then someone comes in and tells you a bit more. I really like being able to share the history of the whole area, for example, how King George Sound got its name, and how things originated. With any questions asked I always just answer to the best of my ability.
What’s the best part of volunteering?
The best part? Well when you retire, if you sit in a chair all day then you’ll not be in the world for too long, I think you’ve got to get out and do something. Volunteering keeps your brain working. You get to teach the school kids or whoever comes in which allows us to continue passing on important information and stories. It’s also really great being part of the volunteering community, it’s nice going to the volunteer group meetings and a great way to see everyone.
What’s your best advice for anyone starting out?
Get in and do it! If you’ve got the spare time and don’t know what you want to do then just get in and do it. It’s quite rewarding.
And what’s next for you?
I’m 93 years of age and have been volunteering for 33 years, I plan to keep going until I can’t do it anymore. I did stop for a while but keep coming back, and will continue to – rain, hail and shine.