When Taree Quotarian Joy Davey learned a tree would be planted in Fotheringham Park in her honour, along with a plaque, she wasn't sure she deserved it.
"When they told me about it I thought, no, please don't. You don't do things on your own. You always have the help of other people. I am one in a circle."
The idea for the Tree of Joy came from Quotarian Janenne Towers who, along with Taree Quota Club president Nancy Boyling, approached MidCoast Council mayor David West, who gave his full support.
The tree recognises Joy's many years of contribution to the Manning community, something she said has never felt like work to her.
"I just love people and I love to do as much as I can for as many as I can for as long as I can," she said. "That's the idea in my mind all the time. I had 52 years of nursing.
"My grandmother and mother were just like that. Love and gratitude of people is the best reward you could ever hope for.
"I thank God every day I get to do it, but you don't do things alone. Friendship and good fellowship stirs you along."
The plaque for the tree was unveiled during a special ceremony at the end of February, attended by Joy's daughters Robyn, Jane and Lyn, son-in-law Paul, and representatives of MidCoast Council, St John's Anglican Church, Taree Quota Club and Taree Lions Club.
"It's lovely to have something I can go to and look at from time to time and it's nice for people to go and see how it's growing. But I didn't do all these things alone."
Now 94, Joy was born and raised in the Manning.
She became a member of Taree Quota Club on March 1, 1972, and is the club's longest serving member. She has held all executive positions over those 48 years.
In addressing the gathered crowd at the unveiling, Taree Quota Club president Nancy Boyling described Joy as a "community champion".
"Joy has a bottomless reservoir of love, patience and energy.
"She works hard and well to support so many charities, individuals and the whole community. Whatever Joy does she thinks of others before herself.
"Joy creates an example for the rest of us to follow. A hero who has strived selflessly throughout her life.
"She sticks to her commitment, has zero flake factor, does her absolute best to make it happen and has no 'off' switch. In fact, I think she is the original Energiser Bunny."
Joy has a long list of organisations she has given her time to.
These include being a baby show judge throughout the Manning on many occasions, instructor and member of the voluntary aid detachment or VADs as it is known, a member of the Chatham Public School P and C Association and canteen volunteer.
She accompanied her late husband Syd as a Lions Lady with Taree Lions Club, welcomed many Lions exchange students into their home, was involved in the Save the Sight campaign, the Youth of the Year competition and Cubby House raffle.
Joy was a foundation member of the VIEW Club and is still a valued member after 53 years, as well as being a Camp Quality volunteer, Taree and District Eisteddfod Society volunteer, a volunteer driver for patients requiring medical treatment, a volunteer Cancer Council representative and she's heavily involved in Taree's Daffodil Day activities.
She's been a member of the St John's Anglican Church choir, friends of the elderly visiting patients in nursing homes, a member of the Manning District Cancer Action Group (Joy and other members started the wig library and the Look Good Feel Good program), a volunteer with Electoral Vote Scrutineers and participates in handing out how to vote leaflets.
She has volunteered for the Deaf and Hearing impaired and has learned sign language, been a torch bearer for Legacy, a member of Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Push for Palliative, Probus on Manning and more.
She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) Queen's Birthday Honours 2003 for her service to the Manning Valley, recognising her work with a range of organisations, particularly the Manning and District Cancer Action Group and Taree Quota Club.
From 1980 and up to last year, Joy was also a Justice of the Peace.
Past governor for Taree Quota Club Jeanette Holland, spoke to the gathering about Joy's nursing career, which started at the early age of 16.
"Doctors at the Mayo Hospital (then situated in Manning Street, Taree) knew of her desire to be a nurse.
"They approached her father to see if she would like to start work and see if this was what she wanted to do.
"It was during the war and a lot of nurses had gone off to war which left the local hospitals very short staffed.
"Joy worked there between 1942 and 1946, and while working she obtained her intermediate certificate.
"In 1946 Joy was accepted at Royal North Shore Hospital to commence her training.
"Joy graduated with a double certificate specialising in midwifery.
"While she was in Sydney she met the love of her life, Syd. They married in 1952 and in 1954 moved back to Taree.
Joy worked at Manning River District and Mayo hospitals, a lot of the time as a theatre nurse.
"In 1968 Joy was appointed matron at the Mayo private hospital, retiring in 1993 after 25 years as matron.
"After leaving work Joy would visit and help people in their homes who were unwell, needed dressings changed, or just needed to see a friendly face."
Tom Ellis, representing Taree Lions Club, described Joy as a pure humanitarian.
"Concern for human welfare is her primary motivation," he said.
"Her contribution to our town cannot be measured in dollars. In payment Joy accepts blessings from God and prayers from all the people she has helped."
Janenne helped Joy unveil the plaque.
One of Joy's biggest challenges recently was getting about after fracturing her femur, which she said has slowed her down but not stopped her.
"The physiotherapist said are you okay and I said I'm perfectly alright, I'll let you know if I'm not.
"I'm going to see a couple of doctors, and will be able to drive a car again I hope."
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