Vinnies celebrates 80 years in Port Augusta

Mass celebration: Attendees Mary During, Nanette Gower, Fran Neale, Keith Colyer,Anton Guidace, Denise Grantham and Lorraine Duthie.
Mass celebration: Attendees Mary During, Nanette Gower, Fran Neale, Keith Colyer,Anton Guidace, Denise Grantham and Lorraine Duthie.

Vinnies Port Augusta celebrated 80 years last week at a special mass service.

The Port Augusta conference opened their first premises, a small St Vincent de Paul store at Tassie St Established on August 24, 1941.

Denise Grantham, president of the Port Augusta conference, said while celebration organisations were made difficult due to COVID-19, the conference was determined to mark the occasion.

"We had mass on the Sunday, whoever wanted was able to attend," she said.

"We had morning tea afterwards and I got up and gave a talk about what it is we do and what Vinnies is all about."

Ms Grantham said the organisation had achieved a lot over 80 years.

"One of our members who have passed, she always said it started in the Second World War when there was a lot of poverty and people in need," she said.

"They were out of work coming back from the war and that is when it all started.

"The community saw a need for help and decided to do something about it, and that is what Vinnies is all about.

"The shop now seems so upmarket from the humble small shop of 1941, but our core reason for being remains the same.

"Helping the most vulnerable in our community, our companions on the journey."

Ms Grantham said Vinnies was still going strong locally, after all these years, but they could always do with an extra hand.

"More volunteers always, we struggle a lot like any organisation," she said.

"I have been involved for 10 years and it has been very rewarding

"You meet some amazing people, whose stories can be difficult at times but they are amazing people.

"I think that Vinnies does important work of helping people who need help."

"The majority of volunteers are not religious, you do not have to be religious to join, you just have to be happy to give back to the community."

Anyone interested in volunteering for Vinnies can find more information online at www.vinnies.org.au/page/Get_Involved/.

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