UNFORGETTABLE: Gympie's Francoise Gregory, volunteer leader at the Commonwealth Games, with the Queen's Baton.
UNFORGETTABLE: Gympie's Francoise Gregory, volunteer leader at the Commonwealth Games, with the Queen's Baton. Contributed

120 hours work in two weeks 'amazing', Gympie volunteer says

MORE than 120 hours of free work in 12 days might sound like a nightmare to many people, but Francoise Gregory would not change it for the world.

A volunteer and team leader at the Commonwealth Games over the past fortnight, Mrs Gregory mingled with athletes and tourists from across the world in her role at the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre.

She was also on hand for England's stunning final run in the netball, where consecutive nail-biting one-point wins over Jamaica and Australia catapulted them to a historic gold medal.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience which she was still processing.

"I'm still very tired, it was amazing,” she said.

As a team leader, Mrs Gregory was responsible for a group of 12-15 volunteers.

She said it was a "big job”, one made bigger by the size of the shifts: some from 5.30am-3.30pm, and others from 3pm-12.15am.

Francoise Gregory (back left) with her team of volunteers at the Commonwealth Games.
Francoise Gregory (back left) with her team of volunteers at the Commonwealth Games. Contributed

In the two weeks, she only had two days off.

The volunteers' hard work was not unrewarded, though.

Along with the commemorative pins which were handed out to them every day, there were a few surprises as well from the guests.

"One lady, she went and bought all of (my team's) volunteers an ice cream to say 'thank you for looking after us',” she said.

And Mrs Gregory herself was thrilled with the people she worked with every day.

"I had great teams,” she said.

"It was tearful to say goodbye.”

A volunteer in Gympie on projects like the Mary Valley Rattler and the Gold Rush, Mrs Gregory admitted she was "a bit worried” about taking part in the Games.

Like the Games, though, all that worry is now history, she said.

"It's something I'll never forget.”

Gympie Times


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