Rotary rewards Maree’s community dedication

By Daniel Hughes

Maree Matheson has been rewarded for decades of service to her community, as the recipient of the Finley Rotary Citizen of Distinction Award for 2020.

Mrs Matheson moved to Finley more than 50 years ago and has given a helping hand throughout town ever since.

While saying there are many other volunteers deserving of the award, including her husband Alan, Mrs Matheson said she was humbled to have been recognised.

‘‘It was very nice to receive the award, but my husband should receive some credit too since we do a lot of our volunteering together,’’ she said.

‘‘We just want to keep Finley going where we can. Both of our parents taught us the importance of volunteering and we want to teach our kids the same lesson.

‘‘Every volunteer around Finley should be recognised; there are a lot of them and they deserve it.’’

In an effort to stay connected with Finley Public and Finley High School after graduation, Mrs Matheson’s first volunteer roles included supporting the schools’ P&Cs and helping in the canteens and at fetes.

She then graduated to helping the Finley Show Society as a steward, overseeing the cooking and schoolwork categories, and also assisted with Finley Little Athletics events and at local swimming carnivals.

For many years she has volunteered as the Finley Hospital Auxiliary secretary and assisted at the Finley Opportunity Shop, where she now serves as roster secretary.

She is also secretary of the Uniting Church Fellowship and is always among the first to volunteer for street stalls and fetes.

For 18 years Mrs Matheson has been editor of the Probus Bulletin and coordinates the group’s social events, and together she and her husband volunteer at the Probus Garden.

Mrs Matheson also also offered nail care services to Finley’s aged care residents through a Red Cross program, and her love for history and its preservation inspired her to join the committees for the Finley and District Historic Museum and Log Cabin and the Finley Pioneer Railway Museum.

Mrs Matheson’s role in the community has been restricted due to the current climate, but she said she is keen to get back to doing what she loves.

‘‘It’s a bit hard to do volunteering at the moment with so much closed because of Coronavirus,’’ she said.

‘‘Alan and I can still get down to the Probus garden to do maintenance, so that’s good.

‘‘The thing I love most about volunteering is the chance to make new friends and spend time with family. I think doing it also helps the mental health of other volunteers, gets them out of the house and socialising.’’