Saturday, 6th December, 2014
By Emily Roberts
The volunteer Walk Tour Guides held their last walk yesterday morning, as they had been unable to secure more volunteers to continue the 30-year tradition.
President of the Volunteer Walk Tour group, Daphne Coffey, had an emotional morning as she as five other volunteers took their last walk.
Mrs Coffey and Rhonda Absalom have been walking since day one.
“This was our last tour for the year and I think it will be our wind-up as well,” Mrs Coffey said.
Mrs Coffey said walkers only take the tours three times a week and at its peak they had 13 volunteers.
Since its inception in 1983 - Broken Hill’s centenary year - the group has collected more than $100,000 in donations which has been passed on to charities.
The volunteer group were seen regularly taking tourists on a wonderful journey through the city’s history, admiring iconic attractions.
“We walk around the city and explain all about the history of the buildings,” Mrs Coffey said.
“Unfortunately to keep it going we need about five or six more members.
“It’s like everywhere, volunteers are hard to get - we only have five walking guides as I am unable to do it now.”
Mrs Coffey said it was a pleasurable past time and she will be sad to see it go.
“It is a sad day, because we have to fold,” she said.
“I wish the service could have carried on for a few more years.
“It was great for tourism, the tourists loved it.
“It was surprising how many came back and how many people recommended it to others.”
One walking volunteer, Margot White, said she didn’t want it to finish up.
“It’s a sad day for us, we don’t want to finish; but age has caught up with us,” Mrs White said.
“Nobody has shown any interest in keeping it going.
“You have to have commitment to do it and be dedicated to it.
“If any of us went away, we were always happy to swap shifts.
“We would walk in any weather even in the wind, I always told my groups; I could find the shade in summer, find the sunny spots in winter but I couldn’t do anything about the wind.”
Another walker, Jack Harris, said there was only one time they couldn’t hold a walk.
“It was raining so heavily we would have had to jump over the puddles off the curb,” he said.
But a talk was still held in the Visitor’s Information Centre.
“We had the talk without the walk,” Mrs White said.
“We’ve survived dust and wind storms.”
Mrs White said each walker brought something to the group.
“We all had stories we were passionate about,” she said.
If you want to keep the group going, can call Mrs Coffey on 8087 2782.