The residence of the Embassy of Switzerland was the venue for a reception to celebrate the Centenary of the Red Cross with Ambassador Marcel Stutz his wife Esther and Sam Wong, the Chair of the ACT Division, welcoming guests. We ate cheese of course and left the reception with a handful of chocolates, but most of all a better understanding of the work that this organisation does on the local, national and international scene.
The very personal story told by Jenny Hadlow of her mighty four decade commitment to every aspect of the local Red Cross was filled with funny, sad and rewarding stories from her regular organising of the Red Cross soup kitchen at the annual Dawn Service, the ‘vampire run’ to deliver precious blood and the exceptional 1000 meals delivered these days for the Meals on Wheels service.
But we all loved the one about the bloke from bush who ran over his mother-in-law. Sad but true and an accident as no malice – we presume- was intended when the SIL in a rush to get to Canberra with his wife and his MIL - the grandmother of the groom - accidentally ‘backed’ over his MIL’s ankle and with a rapidly swelling break she was rushed to the local hospital where a temporary inflatable splint was applied and a cocktail of painkillers helped them all get to Canberra.
The Canberra motel owner knew to contact Jenny Hadlow for a wheelchair, as we guess the SIL didn’t want to piggy-back his MIL, so the somewhat stressed SIL rang Jenny. She was her usual calm and collected self but wheelchairs are for locals so despite the SIL’s protestations and need for haste eventually it was the wedding party’s local domicility that got grandma to the wedding and one SIL off the hook – we presume.
Jenny’s been ‘kidnapped’ for fundraising, got a police escort after caught speeding to ‘hold a plane’ to send urgent blood supplies to Sydney and seen in action the mantra of the Red Cross ‘people helping people’ in action.
This event also acknowledged volunteers with certificates for their work and the prize winning youngsters whose essays showed that this is one organisation where youth is prominent in many and varied aspects of the work. The SIL became a supporter too.