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    BLOSSOMING: David and Shirley Morris met while Mr Morris was a volunteer at Grampians Community Health.

Volunteer finds love on the road

David and Shirley Morris prove there’s no age restriction when it comes to falling in love.

The couple married on Valentine’s Day this year, a little over a year after they met, but it’s how their relationship bloomed that shows how volunteering can help everyone.

For about 12 years, Mr Morris has volunteered as part of the community car and Do Care programs at Grampians Community Health, GCH, as a volunteer driver, visiting people in the community, among other services.

Mr Morris has a small farm at Black Range near Stawell, but after suffering a head injury was advised to take a break from the property.

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Instead, he worked as caretaker at Great Western racecourse where Mrs Morris, from Marnoo, arrived as part of an ‘Over 40s Single Campers’ group for New Year’s Eve 2022.

“I walked out of the caretaker’s rooms and saw Shirley and started talking to her and it went from there,” Mr Morris said.

They enjoyed their conversations and after the camp, Mr Morris tracked down his wife to be in Marnoo through the campers group. They met again and their relationship snowballed when Mr Morris became Mrs Morris’ Do Care worker through GCH.

Mr Morris had lost his wife to cancer about 14 years ago, has battled prostate cancer himself, and was driving Mrs Morris to appointments as she recovered from cancer and underwent chemotherapy.

“We found out we had a lot in common,” he said. 

“We talked about a lot of things and that led to us spending more time together.”

Mrs Morris was struggling with the drives back to Marnoo after chemotherapy and started staying with Mr Morris.

He eventually asked her to marry him. 

“She said ‘ask again when you’re serious’ so two months later I did and this time it was an immediate yes,” Mr Morris said.

They were married in the garden at the farm under a little arch made by Mr Morris.

The love story resonated with GCH staff who wrote a poem that was read out at the wedding.

“We hope it goes on for another 50 years. That’s the way we feel; we get on so well together,” Mr Morris said.

Now both aged in their late 70s, Mr Morris is still driving his wife to appointments, but as her husband this time, not as a GCH volunteer.

He plans to continue his volunteer contributions. 

“My mum volunteered for years. I thought I might need the service one day myself, so I should do something,” he said.

“I mainly go to Ballarat, occasionally to Hamilton, Bendigo, or Horsham, but I don’t like driving in Melbourne anymore.”

GCH is appealing to potential volunteers from the Stawell area to assist with its community car program, which provides affordable transport to medical appointments for people who cannot access other transport.

To learn more volunteering opportunities at GCH, call 5358 7400 and ask for the volunteer co-ordinator.

The entire April 3, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!