Bill Rodda believes the rewards from his 35 years volunteering at Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged have far outweighed the thousands of hours spent helping residents.
The former publican, 80, and his late wife Maureen first started assisting staff and residents at the Golden Square home in the late 1970s and have never looked back, ensuring they were always involved.
ï¿½When the home opened we went up and said hello,ï¿½ï¿½ Mr Rodda said. ï¿½We gradually got to know people up there and after a while started helping residents back to their rooms after Sunday mass.ï¿½
ï¿½Iï¿½ve enjoyed every minute of it, Iï¿½ve made many friends and have had to say goodbye to many as well,ï¿½ Mr Rodda said. ï¿½I might have done some good things for them but they have done just as much for me.ï¿½
Bill Rodda (right) with Mercy Health Bethlehem
Home for the Aged employee Christopher Isika
From helping out at the weekly Sunday mass to chairing residentï¿½s committee meetings, itï¿½s fair to say the couple were eventually known by everyone at the home.
ï¿½It was about 23 years ago that I was elected Chairman of the residentï¿½s committee,ï¿½ Mr Rodda said. It was my job to help residents realise that it was their meeting and that it was up to them to bring up things that were worrying them.ï¿½
ï¿½I did look after their interests, making sure they got the problem answered and fixed up and Iï¿½m happy to say 90 per cent of the time, the changes passed.ï¿½
The couple were somewhat local celebrities, running nearby Billy Roddaï¿½s Golden Square Hotel for 39 years before selling it in 1991. They also raised six children and now have 25 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Even after losing Maureen to cancer last year, Mr Rodda still visits the home twice a week, chatting with residents and helping out with whichever odds and ends need attention. He is also a Life Member of the Golden Square Football and Cricket clubs.
ï¿½Iï¿½m just an ordinary humble bloke, I knew they trusted me and Iï¿½ve had a lot of laughs with them. And I really want to thank Bethlehem for letting me do the work,ï¿½ Mr Rodda said.
National Volunteer Week runs between 12 and 18 May 2014.
Date Published: Tuesday 13 May