Mary Hollingworth receives her NSW Government Community Service Award from Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall in Glen Innes last week.
Monday, 11 July 2016
THERE is an unstoppable force working on behalf of the Glen Innes community, and its name is Mary Hollingworth.
Late last week I caught Mary, wearing her trademark Glen Innes tartan, long enough to present her with a handsomely deserved NSW Government Community Service Award for her tireless work.
Mary, and those like her – although there is no-one quite like Mary – are the glue that hold our country communities together.
The list of duties that Mary has taken on in the Glen Innes and Deepwater communities over the years is astonishing, even in a community with a rich tradition of volunteer work. Those roles include, but are not confined to:
• Administrative assistant for the Australian Celtic Festival. Mary goes far beyond her modest title, including promoting the festival in Scotland, Norfolk Island, Tasmania, USA and across Australia. She is known far and wide as the smiling face of Glen Innes and the Australian Celtic festival;
• Chairperson of the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering, held in Glen Innes last year;
• An active member of the Glen Innes Red Cross, with duties that include hosting Junior Red Cross meetings;
• An active member of the Uniting Church, hosting home worship for the past 27 years and reading weekly Scripture to primary school students;
• An active NSW Agricultural Society Fine Arts And Cooking steward and judge;
• Past president of the Glen Innes Show Society Ladies Auxiliary;
• Past president and a committee member of Deepwater School of Arts.
Mary told me that along with the joy of a life given to service, her three grown children (and impending grandchildren) are a powerful motivation to keep on giving.
“We need to contribute to our communities so that all our wonderful social groups and institutions can continue for the next generation to enjoy,” she said.
“And if you have learned to believe in the importance of something, you stand up for it. That’s the best way to keep our communities together and working for the future of our children.”
I warmly congratulate Mary – and the Glen Innes community in its luck for having such a dedicated and tireless worker in its midst.