Eden’s Margaret Sheaves was named Senior of the Year for the Bega Valley Shire at a sold out Golden Gig in Mer-imbula yesterday (Wednesday).
The generous volunteer on 11 local groups, Margaret has been a devoted member of at least five more in the 20 years she has lived in Eden.
Most prominent in the glowing nomination written by Eden’s Jack Dickinson is her devotion to the Eden Killer Whale Museum, an organisation she threw her small but formidable weight behind back in 1993, and one where she holds many roles including director, member of the curatorial sub-committee and chair of the friends sub-committee.
Conscious of the less fortunate or able, Margaret also volunteers (or has volunteered) for Meals on Wheels, Red Cross Telecross, Probus, View Club and the Wrap With Love knitting project.
Enjoyable endeavours such as singing, gardening and exercise have also resulted in her becoming a major contributor, if not founder of such groups as Eden Singers, Eden Easy Walkers, Water Dragons Abreast, Gentle Exercise Group and the gardeners of Warren’s Walk.
She is also an avid supporter of and exhibitor at Pambula Show.
“With respect Mr Mayor I was thinking, is that me he’s saying all those kind words about?” she said after receiving the award.
Margaret thanked her many friends for their support.
“I would never have done all this volunteering without my very caring friends, thankyou Eden friends, a lot of them are here today, and thankyou to the Bega Valley Shire Council for this award.”
The mother of four said the town was humming when she moved here with her husband in 1993.
“It was so exciting. Eden was celebrating its sesquicentenary and the town was abuzz,” she said.
“Also at the time the ESSCI Club was formed, now 20 years old.”
Sadly her husband Bob died four years later, leaving her the challenge of finishing their retirement home and re-establishing herself in a new community.
“Eden is a great place to live, people are so giving,” she said.
Mr Dickenson wrote in his nomination that his friend has “boundless energy” and “is conscious of those less fortunate than herself, generous to a fault despite her limited means, and more importantly, unstinting of her time.
“She is ever available to her wide circle of friends in times of celebration and equally, in times of the reversals that occur on life’s journey as well as contributing to the community.”