VOLUNTEERS: Rattler Railway Company general manager Peter Blashki, with community volunteers Josie Laird and Cassandra Elstob.
VOLUNTEERS: Rattler Railway Company general manager Peter Blashki, with community volunteers Josie Laird and Cassandra Elstob. Renee Albrecht

Gympie's volunteers in lead

FANS of the Gympie Show, the Muster and the Rattler have more reason than most to be grateful for all the invisible people who make these institutions possible.

But if they live in Gympie there is a fair chance they know all about volunteering already, from their own contribution.

Gympie Show Youth Committee volunteer Josie Laird says Gympie has more volunteers per head than the state average and each of those volunteers donates more hours on average than volunteers state-wide.

The enormous number of services, events, sports, cultural and community groups that depend on volunteers are so much a part of our lives that we often do not even notice them.

Gympie Volunteers Ruth Polley and Holly Leis.
Gympie Volunteers Ruth Polley and Holly Leis. Renee Albrecht

And more than 50 of those groups were represented yesterday at the Pavilion, including the buildings best known tenants, the Gympie Show Society and the Gympie Turf Club.

The occasion was a celebration of the volunteers who make Gympie region work.

Shelia Kath, Marion Sillett and Claudia Granshaw are the volunteers behind the Heart of Gold Film Festival.
Shelia Kath, Marion Sillett and Claudia Granshaw are the volunteers behind the Heart of Gold Film Festival. Renee Albrecht

Community leaders including Mayor Mick Curran said thank you with a morning tea, pamper stations (including massage), activities and quality live music.

Guest speaker was Rattler Railway Company general man ager Peter Blashki, who told nearly 300 guests all the managers and all the grants in the world could not make the Rattler run without the vital efforts of volunteers.

Aticha and Shirley Woodrow, Debbie Cleary and Lurlene Ebbore.
Aticha and Shirley Woodrow, Debbie Cleary and Lurlene Ebbore. Renee Albrecht

"We've got a full set of left hand and right hand brushes and left and right hand screwdrivers,” he said.

Although it was a joke, it was a serious enough appeal for the return of the people who made it all happen under the old banner of the Mary Valley Heritage Rail.

WELFARE: Helping others has become a life's work for St Vincent de Paul volunteer Jessie Thomson.
WELFARE: Helping others has become a life's work for St Vincent de Paul volunteer Jessie Thomson. Renee Albrecht

"We are aiming to provide young volunteers in the workshop with skills they can transfer to their lives, relevant experience so they can get a job,” he said.

Volunteering to help celebrate the volunteers, were Jean Wright, Lyn Day and Raylee Brennan.
Volunteering to help celebrate the volunteers, were Jean Wright, Lyn Day and Raylee Brennan. Renee Albrecht

Gympie Volunteers Rohan Chandler, Amy Halse and Ian Cocks.
Gympie Volunteers Rohan Chandler, Amy Halse and Ian Cocks. Renee Albrecht
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