LETTY Elks has joined a distinguished club – she is now only the third Tamworth resident to have been honoured with life membership of the United Hospitals Auxiliary of NSW.
The 83-year-old was presented with her certificate of life membership – the state organisation’s highest recognition of service – at its 79th annual state conference at the Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney last Thursday.
“I was very proud. I didn’t expect it. I thought there’s plenty of other people who do just as much as I do,” Ms Elks said.
“I got quite a surprise when they told me what was happening.”
Ms Elks has been a member of the Tamworth Hospital Auxiliary for the past 34 years and, for 32 of those years, has been whipping up batches of lamingtons for the organisation to sell at its quarterly lamington drives, which it started on Ms Elks’s suggestion.
The group started out small, making only a few batches in her kitchen, but it’s grown to the point where 3500 are baked four times a year.
So popular are the quintessentially Aussie sweet treats that they always sell out quickly – the drives start at 8am and by noon all of the cakes have been sold.
She also keeps busy helping with the auxiliary’s other fundraising efforts, including its soup-and-damper days, curry luncheons, fashion parades and market days, at which homemade cakes and biscuits are also sold.
Ms Elks joined when a neighbour, who was also a member, recommended she sign up, and has been enjoying the social activities held, and friendships built over the years, ever since.
“I’m pretty involved. I do lots of selling of raffle tickets. It’s very difficult to get people doing things, but I’m always willing to put my hand up if there’s something going,” she said.
“It’s just something to do. I enjoy meeting people and talking to people.”
This past financial year the Tamworth auxiliary has raised $56,000, with 60 members volunteering 12,500 hours of their time.
Ms Elks has previously been the Tamworth Hospital Auxiliary’s president and vice-president, and is also the vice-president of the Tamworth and District War Widows’ Guild Club.