Thank you, Mrs Lord
Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019
By Emily McInerney
After more than five decades as a hospital visitor, volunteer Pam Lord will take a step back to enjoy time with her husband.
For almost 54, years Mrs Lord has been volunteering for the Broken Hill Royal Flying Doctor Women’s Auxiliary (South East Section) as well as making a regular weekly visit to the Broken Hill Hospital as a hospital visitor.
Mrs Lord has helped out with the yearly RFDS Christmas Pudding making sessions, assisting with the RFDS Ball and helping patients with letters.
Many patients would recognise Mrs Lord’s face as she has been a regular at the hospital; travelling from her home at Thackaringa Station every week.
Along with visiting those in need of care, Mrs Lord would bring fruit, magazines and other basics for patients and assist with various tasks such as letter writing, telephone calls and shopping.
“I’ve loved every day of doing it,” she told the BDT yesterday.
“When I first joined the RFDS auxiliary, I went to the hospital and someone was supposed to show me what to do.
“I waited for half and an hour, then I thought I’ll just go it alone and do the best I can.”
Mrs Lord said the old lift in the hospital used to have a cage door.
“I was terrified of it, but I started at the top and worked my way to the floor.
“I would bring cigarettes - which you would never think of doing now.
“Fruits, sweets and do everything to fulfil any requests.
“My first patient asked me to take a message to two-up, I sent him a telegram once I had done it.
“The next week I went in and he told me it was to put money on a horse.
“That was really the start of it all.”
Mrs Lord said a love of the city and its people remained the driving force behind her volunteer work, along with the staunch support of her husband, John.
“I came here from (Adelaide) over 70 years ago and I loved Broken Hill right from the start,” she said.
“I loved the people and I was just happy to help them out in any way I can. It’s a wonderful cause being able to help out the Flying Doctor Service and the community.
“But there isn’t any way I could have done any of this without my husband’s help.”
The couple are celebrating their 70th year of marriage this year.
Mrs Lord said she wanted to spend more time with John.
“I don’t like leaving him every Tuesday, he has been coming with me and sitting in the foyer,” she said.
“I rang my daughter to tell her I was stepping back, she said, ‘But Mum you love it’.
“I said, ‘I love Dad more’.”
“I want to enjoy our 70th year - it’s been magic.
“I’ve loved every day doing what I’m doing.”
Mrs Lord said fellow Auxiliary member Coral Ford has stepped in over the years to help with the volunteering.
“I’ve asked her to take over and I will act as a backup,” she said.
“I just feel I can’t do it every Tuesday.”
In 2009, Mrs Lord was awarded OAM, Regional Winner of NSW Volunteer of the Year 2013 and Murray-Darling Woman of the Year in 2014.
Mrs Lord has been a member of the RFDS Women’s Auxiliary since 1965.
She has held various executive positions in the organisation including the Presidency from 1972-1974 and 1982-83, and was inducted as a life member in 1996.
“The funniest thing that happened, was a patient told me she had bought her husband a pelican pick.
“She asked if I could pick it up from Walter Sully’s and bring it to her to surprise him.
“When I went to Walter Sully’s I asked if they could wrap it up.
“They asked me why and I told them I couldn’t go into the hospital carrying a pelican pick.”
Mrs Lord said she started seeing RFDS patients but realised everyone needed help now and then.
“It was lovely to get calls from people saying thank you for helping my aunt or uncle.
“The need was just as great for the town’s people.
“It’s lovely to feel you have been a help.
“I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Mrs Lord will stay on with the Auxiliary.