To help celebrate Queensland Seniors Week on 18–26 August, we caught up with some local senior citizens whose contributions to our community deserve our thanks.
PAT AND LES MORGAN
A railway man through and through, Les Morgan spent 45 years keeping parcels and pennies on track for Queensland Rail.
“I started out as a junior clerk in Mackay and, over time, was transferred to Mt Morgan (near Rockhampton), then Charters Towers and Townsville,” Les says.
It was in Mt Morgan that Les met Pat, his wife-to-be. “I was a child bride,” jokes Pat, who is seven years younger than her beau.
“We’ll be married 58 years in December.”
Pat and Les have a son (Gary), daughter (Julie), four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Julie works in mental health while Gary is a fibre-optic technician and they’re both passionate about surf lifesaving.
“Gary joined when he was nine and he’s now president of the North Barrier, which covers Mackay and Sarina and as far as Ingham, and Julie is treasurer,” Pat says proudly.
“They’ve both won state titles and now the grandkids are involved in surf lifesaving too. Travelling to swimming carnivals and cheering them all on has been a big part of our lives.”
An outgoing soul, Pat is vice president of the social club at St James Retirement Village in Heatley as well as coordinator of craft group.
“We have something on nearly every day here, whether it’s bingo, hoy, carpet bowls or mahjong,” Pat says.
“We had a fete here last weekend and raised $10,000, which we use to buy items we need for the village.”
A big fan of crocheting, Pat also makes bonnets and booties for the premature babies at the Townsville Hospital as well as trauma teddies for the ambulances.
For Les, the garden is his sanctuary, and he looks after his neighbours’ gardens as well as his own.
“After 45 years in an office, I was pretty keen to enjoy the outdoors,” Les says. “At the moment we’re growing some beautiful petunias, marigolds and snap dragons.”