Laura and Districts Meals on Wheels marks 40 years

Laura and Districts Meals on Wheels branch has marked 40 years of serving food and companionship to those who have needed their services.

The organisation started operating from the Laura Hospital in 1979 and serves the towns of Laura, Gladstone and Georgetown.

In its 40-year history, more than 144,000 meals have been served across the three towns.

The local group's chair, Merrilyn Smith, told the gathering of almost a 100 people at the Laura Sporting Reserve that four volunteers who started all those years ago were still serving as volunteers today.

She said she recalled delivering meals with her mother and aunt, with the food delivered in baskets and billies.

"There were definitely a few shenanigans along the way," she said.

"It's on many of these trips that we've developed friendships."

"It's also about the visit to the clients' home. We might be the only person they see on that day."

Mrs Smith serves as an office-bearer for the organisation alongside secretary Denise Higgins, treasurer Catherine Combe and their dedicated group of volunteers.

At the celebration, the organisation's Jan Barberien recalled the memories of Lynn Northeast who worked at the hospital at the inception of Meals on Wheels. Lions Club of Rocky River's Sam Smith OAM briefly spoke about the partnership between Lions and the group.

Attending the celebrations were Meals on Wheels' Joanne Cameron, based in Port Pirie, and Alex Theel from the organisation's Adelaide head office.


1 year: Julie Bottrall, Jodie Boully, John Cleggett and Marie Shinn.

5 years: Erica Arbon, Denise Higgins, Julie Nettle and Elizabeth Winter.

10 years: Marie Kruger, Anne Schaffner and Willy Schaffner.

15 years: Jan Crawford, Carolyn Higgins and Delma Noonan.

25 years: Daphne Crossman, Janine Higgins, Meredith Sargent and Carolyn Sorenson.

35 years: Barbara Page and Rhonda Pech.

40 years: Gaynor Blake, Ruth Combe, Maureen Schmidt and Valma Thomson.