Two long serving St Vinnies members were presented with certificates of appreciation at a recent meeting.
Bernadette (Bernie) O’Dwyer has worked at the Vinnies shop and conference centre for 40 years and Bernadette (Bobby) Murphy has worked at the conference centre for 27 years.
The two Bernadettes say they have had similar benefits and enjoyment from the experience.
Ms O’Dwyer worked as a secretary in Melbourne before returning to Cobram where she began working at the Vinnies shop and conference centre.
After a few years the two centres became separate entities.
She then worked at the conference centre which handles welfare cases, interviewing needy people and providing them with food and other necessities.
When she returned to Cobram Ms O’Dwyer said she had found that she knew no one (apart from her many relatives in the area) and her volunteer work was a way of meeting people.
‘‘I thought it important to get to meet people of like mind — it was a way of getting out and about when I retired,’’ she said.
Ms O’Dwyer was full time secretary at the conference centre and also interviewed under-privileged people.
‘‘We tried to help people,’’ she said.
‘‘Sometimes I felt we had done a really good job and helped them up the ladder.
‘‘A lot of them can’t manage money — I think schools should teach cooking and budgeting and how to buy food.’’
Mrs Murphy worked as treasurer at the conference centre and enjoyed helping disadvantaged people as well as working with friendly, dedicated people.
‘‘I liked the sense of doing something for other people,’’ she said.
‘‘I enjoyed the company of the people I worked with which was important it was a good group.’’