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Recognising a Lifetime of Commitment to the Community

on the Friday, May 13, 2022

Volunteers young and old will be celebrated at a local Mandurah not-for-profit aged care home during Volunteer Week, which runs from Monday 16 - Sunday 22 May.

And in addition to thanking current volunteers at Mercy Place Mandurah, residents who have devoted themselves to the Mandurah community will also be celebrated.

One such senior is 93-year-old Mary King, who moved with her husband and three children to Mandurah in 1975 to become the town’s new librarian, and who immersed herself into volunteer work within the community at the same time.

From volunteering for the local historical society, at the Mandurah Community Museum, various Parents and Citizens (P&C) Associations connected to the schools attended by her three children, and the local church, Mary King spent over four decades supporting her local community.

“Mum was always a busy lady, and I guess she blazed a trial as a working woman in the 1970s who was not only running the local library, but also helping oversee the building and supervision of Mandurah’s new library, which was opened in 1979,” says daughter Clare Papasergio.

“During her lifetime she was on so many organisations as the president or secretary that we’ve lost count, and she has been presented with so many certificates of appreciation for her involvement in so many Mandurah organisations, in fact she even wrote a book on the history of Mandurah.

“She may have been born in Bridgetown and brought up in Manjimup and the south-west, but her heart is well and truly in Mandurah.”

Mercy Health General Manager, Simone Baxter, said Mercy Health wanted to recognise seniors at the home who had contributed to the Mandurah community over their lifetimes.

“National Volunteer Week is a great opportunity to reflect not just on our incredible group of dedicated volunteers at Mercy Place Mandurah, but also on the seniors we have living with us, like Mary, who have given their time so selflessly over their lifetimes,” says Ms Baxter.

“More generally, volunteers make an invaluable contribution to Mercy Health, and National Volunteer Week is a wonderful opportunity to publicly recognise both their generosity of time and their big hearts.”

Mary’s Volunteering

Mary’s position as Mandurah librarian led to her being approached to be on many local committees, which included:

  • Mandurah Historical Society on arrival in Mandurah, remained a member until 2020. Volunteered for shifts at Halls Cottage opening days. Life Membership 2002.
  • Member MH community museum advisory committee 2005-
  • Foundation member Citizens Advice Bureau, 1976. Served many years.
  • City of Mandurah nomination for Australia Day Awards 1991.
  • Set up Mandurah Branch of the Genealogical Society 1987. Secretary 1991-1993, Convenor 1996.
  • Joined CWA after arriving in MH, was a President and secretary and was writing up the minutes up until 2019. Won WA Speaker of the Year in 1986.
  • Wrote two histories, one of the local Agricultural Hall and the other the history of the RC Church in Mandurah.
  • Inaugural Community representative on Coodanup High School Council
  • Secretary, then President (2003) of local ladies Probus club
  • Cancer Council Relay for Life 2008
  • Member of Senior Citizens until 2020. Ac-Cent volunteer award for service
  • Member Silver Sands Progress Association 1979-1984