Long-serving volunteer leader celebrated

The efforts of a longstanding volunteer have been recognised in Mount Gambier.

At the end of year Christmas function for residents of Mount Gambier’s Abbeyfield House last week, recently retired committeeman and chairman Mike Baxter’s contribution was recognised.

On behalf of Abbeyfield Australia’s national board, incoming House Committee Chairman John Kirby presented Mr Baxter with a Certificate of Appreciation for his 15 years of service.

Mr Kirby said in his time as chairman since 2014, Mr Baxter successfully oversaw a strategy to control and reduce escalating power prices, which threatened the viability of the house at one stage.

This included a successful application for a Federal Government Stronger Communities Grant to install a substantial solar power system.

“Mr Baxter also oversaw the eventual amalgamation of the local Mount Gambier Abbeyfield Society with Abbeyfield Australia, together with some other local societies and houses throughout Australia,” Mr Kirby said.

“The benefits of amalgamation have included having a larger and national voice on behalf of older persons still living semi-independently.

“The Mount Gambier Abbeyfield House, tucked away in Francis Street, provides accommodation for up to 10 active aged independent residents, with a full-time housekeeper.

“The purpose-built house was officially opened by Governor Dame Roma Mitchell in 1991.

“Residents still manage their own personal care but have the advantage of both company and security as a feature of the shared accommodation model.”

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