Honoured for 119 years of service Red Cross volunteers (front from left) Cynthia Willi (40 years service), Barbara Reid (19 years), Lilian McBean (20 years), Lorna Church (30 years) and Margaret Waltisbuhl (10 years).
Honoured for 119 years of service Red Cross volunteers (front from left) Cynthia Willi (40 years service), Barbara Reid (19 years), Lilian McBean (20 years), Lorna Church (30 years) and Margaret Waltisbuhl (10 years).

Women honoured for blood service

MORE than a century of service means these women have done everything from gently swaying a blood bag side-to-side to stop clotting, making delectable cakes to rejuvenate a pale donor and helping save lives.

Earlier this week Red Cross Warwick Branch volunteers Cynthia Willi, Barbara Reid, Lilian McBean, Lorna Church and Margaret Waltisbuhl were honoured for their years of service which total 119 years.

The ladies work with life’s elixir in the blood service at the Red Cross on Guy Street, the branch’s home since 1957.

The women received 10 year medallions with a gold bar to represent a further 10 years of service to the Australian Red Cross.

Cynthia Willi remembered the complexity of the blood donation process when she first volunteered.

“There was a doctor from the hospital rostered to work and take blood,” she said.

“We moved the bag (to stop the blood coagulating) and then drove it to the hospital to be refrigerated and stored.

“We worked at fetes to help raise money, did catering and made lots of wonderful friends.”

Red Cross Warwick Branch secretary/treasurer Kate Keogh said a newborn baby with a blood condition was saved at the clinic.

“The first blue baby transfer was here in these rooms at Guy Street,” she said.

“That means the baby was drained and new healthy blood replaced the old.”

Mrs Keogh said the Warwick branch was looking for volunteers and new ideas in the hope more people in the region would be awarded service badges.

“Our youngest member is 19 years old – but we would like to see more faces of all ages,” she said.

“We have a few programs in the works like the Mega Family Fun Day on the weekend, Foodsense to help people make financially and smart decisions about food and Telechat a program to connect with isolated people. We need volunteers to get these things off the ground.”


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