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Six decades of volunteering

The spirit of community is flourishing at Bartonvale Lodge, and is perhaps best exemplified by the work of resident Jim Dwyer.

RetireAustralia Jim Dwyer Community Award photo
Jim Dwyer receiving his Service to the Community Award on Australia Day

Incredibly, Jim volunteered for St Vincent de Paul for close to six decades, picking up a well-deserved community award along the way, and only stopping at the age of 85.

“I started volunteering for St. Vincent de Paul in 1957, doing hospital and home visits, and continued until last year,” Jim said.

“I volunteered as a tour guide at Adelaide Oval for 18 years, have been working as a Justice of the Peace since 1991, and I volunteer at Prospect Council every Friday afternoon.”

On Australia Day, Port Adelaide and Enfield Council invited Jim aboard the HMAS Leeuwin to receive a Service to Community Award, but he remains humble about his contributions.

“It was interesting and intriguing being aboard an Australian naval vessel, and it was good publicity for Vinnies,” Jim said.

Eight years spent teaching English History and Latin preceded a career as the Superintendent of Libraries for the South Australian Education Department, during which time Jim was responsible for setting up school library services across the state.

Jim’s advice for young people considering contributing to their communities through volunteering is simple.

“Go for it – you’re doing a community service, but you get a lot out of it by learning from other people and their experiences,” he said.

“It is very rewarding in lots of ways, and I’ve got no regrets whatsoever.”

Jim moved to Bartonvale in 2001 and, when not volunteering, enjoys the Lodge’s relaxing and secure lifestyle just nine kilometres north of Adelaide’s CBD.

“The great thing about it is all the people you meet,” Jim said.

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