Beryl just happy to help

George Town Uniting Church stalwart Beryl Osborne (pictured) believes volunteers are the lifeblood of small communities such as hers in Northern Tasmania.

“George Town would not survive without volunteers but, unfortunately, people are very busy and it is not easy to get members these days,” Mrs Osborne said.

Last month she was one of nine Uniting Church Vic/Tas people recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours receiving an Order of Australia Medal.

Two became Members in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) – UCA Funds Management chairperson and former mining company executive Dick Carter and former Tasmanian Senator John Watson. The other recipients have been awarded OAMs.

As well as serving as treasurer of the church for about 30 years, Mrs Osborne (pictured) has been involved with the Bell Bay Seafarers’ Mission – which supports visiting overseas seamen who visit the town’s port – for more than two decades.

She helped establish the Denison Court home units for aged people, now operated by Uniting AgeWell; sat on the board of UAW’s Aldersgate facility for 12 years; and was an office bearer of its auxiliary.

Mrs Osborne’s community service began soon after she arrived in the town with her husband, John, in 1961.

“I started with the YMCA teaching trampolining and gymnastics to the children,” she recalled.

As far as her involvement with the church goes she said that dated back ‘forever’ initially assisting her mother with Sunday School at the former Invermay Methodist Church in suburban Launceston.

Despite her years of service Mrs Osborne still wishes she could do more for the community.

“There are things I would like to be involved in but if I did I would be spreading myself too thin. You cannot do everything.”

Mrs Osborne said while she was thrilled with the award she did not see it as a reason to stop.

“It certainly will not change my life. It came as a surprise but you do not get involved for things like this.”

Award recipients:

Members in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM)
Dick Carter: Leadership in the mining industry through raising professional standards and fostering education initiatives and for work with the Uniting Church.
John Watson: For significant service to the community of the Tamar Valley and to the Australian Parliament.
Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
Carma Keast: For service to the community of Dandenong and the Uniting Church.
Graham Kerr: For service to the Wangaratta region and the Uniting Church and Uniting Care, particularly in the area of financial management.
Robert (Bob) Loone (deceased): for services to local government and the community of the Meander Valley.
Reverend Denis Oakley: For service to children through social welfare organisations including Wesley Central Mission and OzChild.
Beryl Osborne: For service to the community of George Town.
Reverend Margaret Russell: For service to the community and the Uniting Church.
Rosemary Shaw: For service to the community through a range of volunteer roles and the Uniting Church.

Share Button



One Response to “Beryl just happy to help”

  1. Jim van Ommen

    Hi Beryl,
    I was roaming around the net and reminiscing about the past and came across a very familiar name. Congratulations for your Order of Australia Medal for all your hard work in the Church and the Georgetown community. We all know you didn’t do it for the reward, but that’s one of the crosses we got to bear. The important thing is the WDG&FS at the end. God bless the pair of you. Love Geraldine & Jim.