Armidale woman honoured

QUIET ACHIEVER: Armidale's Helena Smith has been honoured for her work with Legacy and diabetes. Photo: Ben Lonergan, Armidale Express.

QUIET ACHIEVER: Armidale's Helena Smith has been honoured for her work with Legacy and diabetes. Photo: Ben Lonergan, Armidale Express.

AN ARMIDALE woman has been rewarded for her work with Legacy and diabetes groups.

Helena Smith was honoured with an OAM in the general division for service to community health and to social welfare organisations.

Mrs Smith has been involved with Legacy for more than 60 years, starting with the Forbes branch.

"In the beginning I was a part-time secretary for 10 shillings a week because they couldn't afford it," she said.

"We had semi-formed Torchbearers and I was invited with another lady to speak to head office at Sydney whether we thought a Torchbearer group could be formed at Forbes. We did form one and I've now been involved for more than 60 years."

Mrs Smith has served as president, vice-president, foundation treasurer and assistant secretary treasurer of the Australian Diabetes Council, Armidale and Uralla Branch as well as the president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer of Torchbearers for Legacy, Armidale Branch where she is a patron and life member.

She has been part of the Australian Diabetes Council for 18 years.

"I was told I wasn't to dare accept office, but I ended up as the treasurer for eight years," she said.

"It was a hard one because they had a few starts and finishes of the group and several problems, but this was to be a fresh start and I'm still involved with both organisations I will be as long as ever I can. They are both very, very special parts of my life."

Mrs Smith said she did not expect to be honoured for her work.

"I'm a quiet sort of person, very devoted to anything I work for, and it never occurred to me that there would be a reward for the sort of things I was doing," she said.

"I'm a bit overwhelmed."

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