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Elsie Langford - January, 2023


A bit about "Me" – I am a POM (as if you didn’t know by the accent) and came to Australia in 1957 with a husband and small baby – we settled in Sydney and stayed there for 16 years before my husband (1st one) got a promotion and we moved to Melbourne where I resided for 19 years, during which time we went on a 6 month campervan tour of Europe, husband and wife parted company, I joined a fraternal Lodge of Manchester Unity and met and married David.

I worked for an architect's firm in Melbourne where I made the progressive payments to builders for work on the various major works under construction – this firm built almost all the big hospitals in Melbourne as well as Concord and the original Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney – payments were often in excess of $1 million so it was a big job !

David and I finally moved to Coffs Harbour in 1991 to be closer to family and the grandchildren – we ran a shop for a couple of years and then with time on my hands, I started volunteering with Diabetes Coffs Harbour Branch where I ended up being the Secretary, produced 2 cookbooks for diabetics (literally cos I typed them up, printed them on my printer, collated and bound them for postage all over Australia finally ending up with over 1500 of each being organised).
I also attended their annual conferences in various parts of the State and then became a Director of Diabetes NSW, a position I held for 10 years and was awarded the Kempson Maddox Award which is an annual award for outstanding service to diabetes in 2016 - a huge honour !

I also collected the Senior Citizen of Year award in Coffs Harbour and the Quota International award for services to the community which were humbly accepted – I do things because I want to, not for the rewards I can get from my deeds !

I also transferred my Lodge membership to Coffs Harbour and ended up being the Secretary there too before being a District Officer and eventually a Grand Lodge Member (Board of Directors) where I ended up being The Grand Master (Chairman) in 2013.

While all the above was evolving I joined 2AIRFM in its very early days and was in the first 100 to become a member.
In those days we were at the Big Banana – right at the top of the hill with magnificent views and very cramped facilities and it was almost like a big adventure with everyone pulling their weight and pitching in when needed.

I do not know why, but I got roped into the fund raising and we put on a lot of functions to raise money - we had street stalls, picnics in the park, functions at the Surf Club and even an old time dance in the cafeteria area up above the studios – and look at me now – I am still working with the fundraising team !

When we moved to Jetty Village, Aileen Mutton was appointed Secretary and, after a couple of years (at AGM in October 2002), I took on the role. What a monumental task that seemed to be – I was scared stiff of Tony Lennon, President at the time whose word was LAW (pardon the pun) and in the end I made an appointment with him to sort myself out and what was supposed to be a 10 minutes conversation ended up as 2 hours but I came away with a totally different view and we worked together as a team until 2010 when he retired.
I continued in the role of Secretary with several different Presidents until I retired at AGM 2018 and John Bambey took over.

During my time as Secretary I also managed to end up with the Treasury job on several occasions due to resignation, death or assisting the then person in the position and somehow I have kept this role until the present day.

The old adage of "Ask a busy person" certainly applies to me, but I have loved the whole ride and have many "feel good" stories to reminisce on.

The mind is still active and sharp but the body is not keeping up – it is getting (sorry – got) OLD !
But while the mind is still working well and the fingers can type out a letter or two, I suppose I will be doing something or I will go bonkers !

All the other activities have closed or discontinued but 2AIR lives on - have been here for 25 years now and I love working with all the other volunteers – may we all keep on keeping on together and in harmony forever !

Elsie Langford







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