`I enjoy the fact I can give something back’

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More than 30 years of study in various areas means Oamaru’s Rosemary Smyth can do what she loves – support people.
She was recognised for her work with the elderly at the Waitaki Citizens’ Awards, held on Monday at the Oamaru Opera House, where she was presented with a plaque.
Her citation was read by Oamaru ward councillor Colin Wollstein.
Mrs Smyth is a regular rest-home visitor, where she entertains residents with piano and song. She also visits those in private care and reads newspapers to the sight-impaired.
After she retired from her job as a part-time home carer after 34 years in 1999, she decided to support people on a voluntary basis.
Mrs Smyth (81) said it was rewarding for her.
“I enjoy the fact I can give something back – that I can take the outside world to someone that is shut in. They may not see anyone for a few days or a week.”
She enjoyed simply chatting, as she felt they had a wealth of stories to tell.
Mrs Smyth was driven to study about 40 years ago, after she completed school certificate later in life.
“I wanted to study because of my lack of education. I only had two years of secondary education and rather than moan about it, I did something about it. So I studied school certificate in 1977.”
From there, she went on to study music, speech and communication. Her citation said she worked with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows service group for 60 years, and has volunteered at the North Otago Combined Churches foodbank, Parkinson’s New Zealand’s Oamaru branch, the St Paul’s Church
drop-in centre and has been involved with the Oamaru Savage Club and Masonic Lodge.
She has regularly delivered devotions at Sandringham House rest-home, and been heavily involved with the Presbyterian church for 25 years.