Acknowledged as a 'hidden treasure'
Elaine Hardinge, 83, of Empire Bay has been acknowledged as an outstanding community volunteer on the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.
Ms Hardinge has been an active Meals on Wheels volunteer for about 50 years.
Elaine has spent much of her adult life in Sydney and volunteered with Hurstville Meals on Wheels.
Even though she moved to the Central Coast 16 years ago, Ms Hardinge still travelled by train to Sydney, once a week on a Monday, to deliver Meals on Wheels around Beverley Hills, Hurstville and Oatley.
"I also worked in the office for some years, organising the runs," she said.
"My children even got involved and I used to take them on runs with me sometimes.
"The family is so excited over this (recognition).
"I loved doing the Meals on Wheels because you get to know people and make friends," she said.
"It's also very rewarding to do things for other people, and some of the people we delivered to, well, we were the only ones they would see that day.
"I had to give up going to Sydney a couple of months ago because of my health but I am catching up with some of the people down there over Christmas.
"They are long time friends, and one lady I've known for 50 years," Ms Hardinge said.
Ms Hardinge said that these days she found good company at the seniors' groups, playing scrabble at Empire Bay and bingo at Ettalong.
Member for Terrigal Mr Adam Crouch visited Mrs Hardinge to congratulate her as a "hidden treasure".
"Her service over the past 50 years has been greatly appreciated by hundreds upon hundreds of people and it is so fitting to recognise her as a hidden treasure," he said.
The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll is part of the Rural Women's Network of the NSW Department of Primary Industry.
It is a tribute to women and their valuable work in rural and regional communities.
This year's Hidden Treasures Honour Roll recognises 78 women and captures inspirational stories that document and celebrate their unpaid work which ensures the viability of community groups and charities, such as emergency services, the arts, environment, social justice, education and sport.
The list now totals more than 1000 volunteers who have been recognised since the first Honour Roll in 2010.
Media release, 17 Dec 2019
Adam Crouch, Terrigal MP
Interview (Sue Murray), 19 Dec 2019
Elaine Hardinge, Empire Bay