Meals on Wheels volunteers recognised in Murray Bridge branch's 50th year

They haven't yet had a chance to celebrate the milestone, but local volunteers cheered each other's achievements on Monday.

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As soon as South Australia’s lockdown was announced on November 16, Sandra Walding’s phone started ringing.

Meals on Wheels clients and their families all over Murray Bridge wanted to know: would they still be able to get the hot meals they so looked forward to every week?

“Sandra said her phone started ringing from 12 noon to nine o’clock at night,” branch president Mary Rowley said.

“She had both her home number and her mobile ringing, and a lot of it was from clients’ families who were concerned that because of the total lockdown, they may not get their meals.

“As we all know, all you good people out there, we are an essential service and they all got their meals.”

Ms Rowley thanked the 160-plus local vounteers who had kept Meals on Wheels deliveries going right through COVID-19 at the branch's annual general meeting at Murray Bridge RSL on Monday.

She especially singled out office holders Ms Walding, Dot Temby and Maureen Klau, who were tasked with finding ways of working within the restrictions.

At times volunteers were unable to go inside the Murray Bridge hospital, where meals are cooked each day; and they were not allowed back into clients’ homes until this week.

Plans to celebrate the branch’s 50th anniversary, on June 8, also went out the window.

Committee members now hope to mark the occasion in June of 2021.

Before moving on to a presentation for members who had reached milestone years of service to the organisation, Ms Rowley acknowledged two other members’ service.

One was Marilyn Dew, who completed a term as branch secretary after serving since February 2018.

The other was the late Betty Zadow, who collapsed and died while delivering meals to clients on March 10.

The meeting concluded with the presentations – more photos below – and afternoon tea.

Outgoing branch secretary Marilyn Dew receives a certificate from Meals on Wheels’ Mark Kearns, thanking her for her service. Photo: Peri Strathearn.