Above and beyond the call of duty

Elsie Johnston (pictured) has been a member of Red Cross for longer than most of us have been alive.

The 93-year-old first joined the organisation in Lynwood in 1939 where her mum was a member, and when she married her beloved Cyril in 1941, he followed in her footsteps.

Later when they moved to Alstonville, Elsie became a member of Alstonville Red Cross where she remains to this day after 70 years of continuous membership.

Rita Esler, Secretary of the Red Cross said that Elsie is an outstanding quiet achiever who has managed to support everything the Red Cross has done over the 35 years she has known her.

From making woollen scarves and socks for soldiers during the war to traversing hazardous conditions in all weather to ensure old or frail people got their daily Red Cross visit, Elsie has made an extraordinary contribution to Red Cross and thousands of people who rely on their services.

“In the early days when the Red Cross relied on the branches more, Elsie would organise clearing sales for people who were closing their properties,” Ms Esler said, “Elsie would work hard would be moving tables and trestles and supply morning tea and afternoon. She would work hard under extreme weather conditions to raise money for Red Cross.”

Recently the Alstonville Red Cross presented Elsie with a Gilt Rosette for 60 years service, and also the 'Brooch and Parchment' for 70 years service.

“Although she is slowing down a bit now, she's always there no matter what's on,” Ms Esler said. “We'll never have another Elsie Johnson.”


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