Volunteering part of life s rich pattern
Volunteering part of life's rich pattern

For Mt Barker's Geoff Jones, volunteering is just a part of every day life.

A life member of both the North Mt Barker Football Club and the Mt Barker Golf Club, and secretary-treasurer of the Mt Barker Community Bank, Mr Jones’ lifetime of active volunteering in the community has been recognised with his selection as a finalist in the 2012 WA Seniors Awards.

Mr Jones is in the running for the WA Champion for Seniors Award. And although he didn’t expect anything to come from the nomination, he is quietly chuffed by the accolade.

“This all started one day when Alana (Thompson) up at the (Mt Barker Community Bank) asked if she could nominate me,” he said.

“I said ‘oh well if you like’ and thought that would be the last of it.”

But it wasn’t, and Mr Jones will travel to Perth on November 11 to see whether he beats two other contenders to the award.

That said, you don’t volunteer for 40-odd years for the accolades. For Mr Jones, it is a way to be involved in the community, particularly in sporting clubs.

Mr Jones has farmed in the region all his life since moving to Mt Barker 73 years ago.

As a youngster he was a keen footballer, playing more than 220 games for the then North Mt Barker Football Club. It was an association which snowballed into a term behind the scenes as secretary, then president.

Since then, Mr Jones has also volunteered his time as the secretary-treasurer of the Southern Districts Stock Breeders Association and been involved with local primary and high school P&C Associations.

“I guess going back to the beginning I always played footy right from a young age and I’ve just stuck with my sports,” he said.

“In about 1970 I finished with the football club and joined a golf club to learn how to play golf and the same thing there; I served on the committee and as captain and as a president.

“Now I’ve been the secretary-treasurer since about 1988 I think.

“As one lady put it to me recently, I can’t say ‘no’.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, since retiring from farming about 10 years ago, Mr Jones has been flexing his financial acumen, volunteering on the board of the Mt Barker Community Bank.

Mr Jones is proud of the success of the community banking model.

“The community bank started in Mt Barker in 2001, the idea is they opened up when all the big banks started closing in smaller towns,” he said.

“The model is that they return funds to the community.

“With the community bank, it’s been very successful in Mt Barker and I think in the 10 or 11 years since it’s been in operation, we’ve returned about $870,000 to the Mt Barker community.

“I just like to be involved in things, I am not just a person who plays the sport or belongs to the organisation but doesn’t take an active part of it, that’s just me I guess.”

The winners of the WA Seniors Awards will be announced at a gala reception in Perth.

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