Veronica (Von) Hobson of Wingham has devoted more than 60 years of her time volunteering as a member of the Red Cross.
On Friday, May 7, she was awarded an Outstanding Service Award at a ceremony in Sydney on May 7. She was one of only six recipients to receive the award.
It's not the first time Veronica has been awarded by the Red Cross. She received the Long Service Award when she reached 20 years of service, and a bar for each subsequent 10 years to add to the medal. At 60 years of service she was given a laurel wreath pin.
In 2009 she received the Service Award. Both the Service Award and Outstanding Service Awards are not given out to everybody - "you have to earn them and be nominated", Veronica says.
Von joined the Wingham Red Cross Voluntary Aide Detachment (VAD) in 1960 at 28 years old, and became proficient in both home nursing and first aid.
"That was a great help in raising my children!" Von said, telling stories of broken bones.
In 1968 Von joined the Wingham Branch while continuing to be an active part of the VAD, until the detachment disbanded in 1988.
Von was also a trained member of the Red Cross Personal Support Team (now titled Emergency Service) and spent time at Kempsey helping affected people and the Department of Community Services during major flooding.
In her time with the Wingham Branch she has served as president, treasurer and secretary multiple times. She was president of the Branch when it became a Club in 2019, and she is an active member to this day.
Von says the highlight of her decades of service (so far) was being a part of Wingham VAD history. The Wingham VAD team won the Elizabeth Northcott Trophy for Home Nursing in Sydney five times, a record that was never broken. Von was a member of the team for three of those years.
Now that the Wingham Red Cross is now a club rather than a branch, the members mainly spend their time fundraising for the Red Cross.
Von says their numbers are dwindling these days, as most of the them are in their 80s.
"We haven't got the manpower these days," she says.
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