There would be few in Mount Isa whose contribution to the community has exceeded 60 years and voluntary participation in twenty plus welfare and community organisations as has Anne Morris.
'It's good to help; I don't see anything hard about helping', she told John Wilson of the North West Star in 2014.
That has been Anne's mantra since arriving in Mount Isa in 1957, when she and her husband Ray Vardy moved from the balmy seaside town of Tweed Heads seeking work and stability to raise a family in the mining town.
Ray quickly secured a job with Thiess Bros. working on the new Leichhardt River Dam (later named Lake Moondarra) while Anne set up home in Deighton Street.
Fortuitously, their home was a short walk through the spinifex growth and along a stony track west over the hill to the new Mount Isa Hospital where she put up her hand to be the 'trolley lady' delivering those incidental needs and wants that patients would ask for, magazines, toiletries, snacks and lollies.
As their family grew, Anne continued her foray into volunteering at the tuck shop of her children's school, Town State Primary School.
Little did she realise her journey along the volunteer pathway had been set; one that would lead her to the welcoming doorstep of twenty organisations plus that over time have benefited from her ethos of giving a helping hand.
A woman of remarkable resilience and fortitude, her inner strength was tested when Ray died in the mid-seventies.
She brooked no pity in raising her family and with their support Anne continued her involvement with community volunteering while juggling family responsibilities.
Many years later Anne married one of the nicest men in Mount Isa, a great scone maker and a proud supporter of her community involvement, Arthur Morris.
A devote Christian, Anne has rarely missed a Sunday service at the Presbyterian (now Uniting) Church where she joined the Young Women's Christian Association.
In later years, as president of the Mount Isa Hospital Auxiliary, members raised thousands of dollars to upgrade the nurses' swimming pool area with shade sails and outdoor furniture.
Her connection to the welfare of patients and hospital staff was borne when she went to work as a domestic at the Kingaroy hospital after leaving school at the age of 14 years.
In 1994 while Anne was treasurer of the Mount Isa Pensioner's Association, Laura Johnson Home was gifted $2000 toward a new commuter bus for residents.
She has always been a reserved person, one who sensibly gets on with the task at hand, but her performance with the Blue Nurses singing John Williamson's 'Boogie With My Baby' at their Respite Care Christmas Party in 1993 had guests questioning why she had not taken to the stage as a career.
Nominated to be the Far Western District entrant in the 1988 Queensland Country Life Country Woman of the Year Quest, Anne's involvement in local welfare organisations and as a member of the Country Women's Association for the previous 26 years made her a respected recipient of a High Commendation if not the title.
One of the early volunteers at Meals on Wheels, Anne cooked alongside Norma McConachy as the organisation outgrew its humble beginnings and into the house donated by Mount Isa Mines.
While she has held various positions on the committee the one job, she loved the most was accompanying Arthur on his delivery of freshly made meals to the elderly around town.
Such has her dedication been to Meals on Wheels that in 2014 she was awarded the organisations highest accolade, the Mary Lowe Living Legend for Queensland.
On her return from Brisbane with the new award under her arm, she said ... my personal story reinforces popular opinion that without volunteers, this nation would, arguably, grind to a halt.
She has also proved to be a worthy advocate for rail passengers when the Inlander train was purported to be ceasing services on the Townsville line.
Together with the Mount Isa Pensioners Association, she secured hundreds of signatures throughout North West Queensland in a bid to keep the Inlander rail service running.
But her biggest battle and deepest disappointment was the unwarranted takeover of the Mount Isa Branch of the Country Women's Association.
She was to be admired for the fight she and her friend Daphne Doak took on in trying to keep the 89 years old original branch, of which Anne had been a member for 55 years, open.
Although they lost the battle, Anne and Daphne were dignified in defeat and stood tall as they then joined the new Copper City Sub-Branch of the Country Women's Association.
Anne was quietly delighted with the many well wishes and birthday greetings received on her recent 90th Birthday, a day during which she was heard to say to Arthur ... I can't understand what the fuss is all about!
A proud mother of three sons and a daughter, grandmother and great grandmother, wife, sister to eight siblings, aunt, and friend to many, Anne is the much-loved matriarch who continues to help where help is needed and that was why there was such a fuss.
She is a woman who not only understands what community service means but has encapsulated that meaning in her community work to build a better life for the people of Mount Isa.
When asked what she thought of Mount Isa Anne Morris cheekily replied ... it's a good town and really, it's only what you make it!
Over the past 60 years, Anne has been a member of many groups including (but not limited to) ...*the Mount Isa Branch of the Country Women's Association for 58 years and finalist in the Country Life Country Women Quest ... *Member of Red Cross Mount Isa ... *Mount Isa Hospital Auxiliary ... *Scout and Cub leader ... * Meals on Wheels ... * Town State Primary School (later Central State School) Parents and Citizens Committee and volunteered on the school tuck shop ... *Invigilator at Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health (JCU) ... *Handicraft steward for the Mount Isa Show Society ... *A beloved Mount Isa Eisteddfod volunteer ... *St Andrews Presbyterian church now Uniting Church ... * Young Women's Christian Association ... *Mount Isa Embroiders Group ... * *Mount Isa Needlecraft Group ... and *Blue Nurses.
Researched and written by Kim-Maree Burton www.kimmareeburton.com
Photos and information sourced from the Vardy and Morris families and the North West Star newspaper.