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    50 YEARS OF SERVICE: St John’s Ambulance regional manager Brenda Clayton, front left, and Horsham division manager Loris Zaal, front right, look back on 50 years of St John’s service in Horsham at a celebratory dinner. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

St John’s Ambulance celebrates 50 years in Horsham

Horsham’s St John’s Ambulance members have marked a milestone in their community service.

The Horsham branch has operated for 50 years, providing first-aid training, health and emergency support to the community.

Members celebrated their history with regional manager Brenda Clayton and Horsham mayor Mark Radford at Horsham’s White Hart Hotel on Saturday.

Division manager Loris Zaal said the Horsham branch had 10 dedicated volunteers.

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“It was a wonderful dinner, and this is a wonderful service for the community if they need first aid, and for emergency management,” she said.

“Our volunteers are spread around the area, including four from Nhill and one from Stawell, and we’re on call 24 hours a day.

“What we find the hardest is keeping volunteers.”

Mrs Zaal said recruiting and holding onto volunteers was difficult because of people’s family and work-life commitments.

She said many organisations were shutting down because of this.

“When older members leave there are no younger ones coming through to fill their spots,” she said.

St John’s will host a promotion at Horsham Plaza on Friday, July 19 to give people an  opportunity to learn about the service and encourage more volunteers.

Mrs Zaal said she had been a St John’s volunteer for 32 years.

“I did my first-aid course with Peter Oakley, who has passed away now, before joining,” she said.

“You only needed to have basic first-aid training back then.

“I have been division manager now for 20 odd years.”

Horsham’s branch meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at Horsham’s Fire Brigade Hall and completes specialist courses to provide first-response relief in the community.

– Lotte Reiter

The entire June 26, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire June 29, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!