40 years rolls by for ‘Meals’ team

BALAKLAVA’S Meals on Wheels service will mark a special milestone when it celebrates its 40th anniversary this afternoon at Balaklava Senior Citizens’ hall.
The local group’s secretary Jenny Stewart  said a number of dignitaries would be present for the celebratory afternoon tea, including Meals on Wheels SA chief executive officer Sharyn Broer and Mayor James Maitland.
Matt Wurfel, representing Federal Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion, Balaklava Hospital director of nursing Donna Cowan and cook Vern Pycroft will be other special guests.
The group of volunteers is still as strong as ever since its formation on January 4, 1971.
About 100 locals still give up their time on a regular basis to cater for the two rounds a day, five days a week service.
“It’s wonderful and they’re all marvellous,” Mrs Stewart said.
The meals, prepared at Balaklava Hospital, include a soup, main course and a desert.
But it is not just the meal that gives this group its significance in the community.
“For some of those recipients, we might be the only contact they have for the day, so it’s a very important service,” Mrs Stewart said.
Her own service to the group covers a solid 26 years, with many others still involved notching up similar and even higher service records.
One of the original deliverers and committee members, Mary Atyeo, is making the trip back for the special event.
“We’re not only having volunteers attending on the day, some older volunteers, who have returned, and recipients will also be coming along,” Mrs Stewart said.
“It’s going to be quite a day.”
A cake cutting ceremony and afternoon tea will feature, while a selection from the Adelaide Plains Male Voice Choir will provide entertainment.
Wendy’s Cakes will be catering for the event.
“We’re not cooking it,” Mrs Stewart laughed.
The group will also receive a plaque to place at front of the hospital.