Volunteer service keeps Hervey Bay couple happy


Hervey Bay retirees Margaret and Peter Murray, both in their 70s, don’t know the meaning of being bored.

Both volunteer once and sometimes twice a week at St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay, and they also find time to volunteer at Fraser Coast FM 107.5 community radio station.

This week, May 11 – 17, is National Volunteer Week, and the Murrays are pleased with this recognition for more than six million Australian volunteers nationwide.

“We began volunteering at St Stephen’s when the hospital relocated from Maryborough to Hervey Bay in October 2014, we helped over the busy few days of moving, and we really enjoyed it,” said Mrs Murray.

“Before I retired I had worked in the hospital system in food services, so I’ve had a long association with patients. It’s very rewarding knowing that the help you give people in the wards is appreciated.

“Both of us just like working with people and by volunteering we keep in touch and feel part of the community.”

Mrs Murray has long had an interest in volunteering. The Urraween mother of three grown children has previously volunteered with the Red Cross and currently also volunteers at Fraser Coast FM in Hervey Bay, answering the phone on Sunday mornings.

Her husband Peter Murray, who worked as an ambulance officer for 26 years before he retired, is a keen broadcaster. He presents “Walk Down Memory Lane” every Thursday morning, presenting a mix of music mainly from the 1950s and 1960s, and on Sunday morning he presents “Unlock the memories”.

Mr Murray is also secretary of the radio station: “We are all volunteers, nobody is paid at the radio station and I help keep the business side of the station going.

“At the hospital we are treated with respect and are made to feel our efforts are appreciated by the staff and patients. There is not a day we go home from the hospital and don’t feel like we haven’t helped. We come home on a high, it’s magic.”

Acting General Manager and Director of Nursing at St Stephen’s Hospital Hervey Bay Rae Priaulx said the hospital owed a huge debt of gratitude to its 80 volunteers.

“Our volunteers are truly appreciated for the excellent contribution they make to our hospital. The long tradition of volunteering which has made St Stephen’s so special for many years is in good hands, thanks to these special people.”

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