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Childhood friends celebrate a lifetime of service

Reg Kinnersly and Georgia Schaefer have been awarded a rare accolade for 80 years of service to Red Cross.

Monday December 19, 2016

Red Cross members Carol Holding (Grampions Zone Deputy Chair) Janet Harrison, Reg Kinnersly and Georgia Schaffer. Janet, Reg and Georgia share 220 years of service to Red Cross between them.

The two sat next to each other at the Tourello Primary School back in the 1930s and today remain friends, united by their commitment to the humanitarian organisation.

"We had a local lady, Mrs Troup, and she formed a Junior Red Cross in the Tourello school," recalls Mr Kinnersly.

"As kids we were all junior Red Cross members. We'd go to the adult meeting once a month and give a report on what we'd done to help Red Cross. From then on we just supported the Red Cross, it was the focal point of the community."

Red Cross Community Engagement and National Heritage Manager David Fitzroy says such a commitment is a rarity and honour for any organisation.

"Junior Red Cross was hugely popular early-to-mid last century and gave many people the chance to make a lifelong commitment to helping others.

"The fact that Reg and Georgia have remained committed for eight decades is a testament to their compassion and humanity." 

Janet Harrison also received an award for her 60 years of service to Red Cross. It was her grandmother, May Elizabeth Troup, who started junior Red Cross in Tourello. Mrs Harrison says she belongs to Red Cross because 'it's just the right thing to do'.

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