Lions Club member Colleen Blackler at her Green Island home last week. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Few do more for their community than Colleen Blackler.
But the 74-year-old Green Island resident modestly insists
her contribution is nothing out of the ordinary.
''I'm just like everyone else. I do a bit here and a bit
there,'' she said.
A retired caregiver, Mrs Blackler divides her time between
various voluntary pursuits.
She helps at the Otago Community Hospice shop, with Meals on
Wheels, and until recently as a hostess for Taieri Gorge
Railway cruise ship excursions.
She fundraises for a range of charities and causes, is a
devoted Probus member, and is involved in the Friendship
Force travel club through which she has hosted many
Mrs Blackler has been a Lions Club member for 15 years and
last week received a long-service award from the Mosgiel
The recognition came as a surprise.
''I couldn't believe it. It was amazing,'' she said.
Mrs Blackler and her late husband, Linton, moved from
Christchurch in 2005, when there was no club in Mosgiel, so
she was a founding member of branch, formed in 2007.
Club secretaries Marie Lyall and Bron Smith said Mrs Blackler
was a real asset.
''Colleen is a very loyal and enthusiastic member who has
time, knowledge and energy to share. She is a vital member of
our club and our community.''
Mrs Blackler has held many club roles and is the current
health and safety officer. She helps co-ordinate meetings and
is on the club's social committee.
Mrs Lyall said Mrs Blackler regularly helped with charity
street collections, and was ''a real whizz'' at Lions
fundraiser sausage sizzles.
Mrs Blackler is involved with the University of the Third Age
and attends seminars and courses.
She said helping others came naturally.
''When my husband was ill I had so much help, I was blown
away really. So I enjoy being able to give a little bit