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Volunteers celebrated

Last updated: 17/02/2016 12:56 AM
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John Ree with his 50 year volunteer badge

A St John Ambulance volunteer who was inspired to help others after witnessing a road accident in the 1950s is among 140 people honoured at the WA Volunteer Service Awards.

The annual awards, presented by the Department of Local Government and Communities, acknowledge the significant efforts of the State’s longest serving volunteers.

A volunteer ambulance officer, first aider and trainer since 1958, 74 year-old John Ree is still actively involved in the service.

After witnessing a serious traffic accident in Serpentine, John said he and other onlookers were forced to take injured people to hospital in the back of their own utility vehicles. That experience was enough to prompt him to help set up a St John Ambulance service locally.

John is also involved in the St John Ambulance WA Museum, St John Historical Society, and Fellowship of Friends of St John groups. 

Long-serving volunteers were formally recognised with a volunteer service award badge at a ceremony at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 10 December. Volunteers qualify for the award when they have served one organisation for 25 or 50 years continuously.

The WA Volunteer Service Awards are part of this week’s celebration of volunteers, which began on 5 December with Thank a Volunteer Day.

The Department of Local Government and Communities has supported the celebrations with grants totalling $36,765 provided to 42 organisations to hold events during the week.

A list of the award recipients is available here.