TWO Portadown women who began volunteering with Oxfam on the same day over 40 years ago, have retired.
Marjorie Aughey and Ivy Moneypenny, both 84, joined the Portadown store in January 1972, not long after it opened in the town.
And on Friday, a meal and presentation was held for them at Salt Restaurant, as a thank-you for their years of dedicated service.
Shop manager Agnes Quinn praised their hard work. She said, “Since I joined five years ago, both Marjorie and Ivy worked at least four hours a week each and more if required.
“They did everything from sorting clothes to pricing and handling cash and were among our longest-serving volunteers.”
The Oxfam committee began in Portadown in 1969 and, as it had no base. held its meetings at the Seagoe Hotel as well as organising fundraising events.
Its shop opened in the early 1970s and was quite a makeshift affair, with the clothes laid out on trestle tables and piled up in cardboard boxes.
It has moved to various locations in the town over the years and has been successfully trading in its High Street location for the past 12 years.
One of the original charity members from 1969, Sandra Turner, still volunteers as do Portadown women Geraldine Rafferty and Ita Henderson, both of whom joined 35 years ago.
Said Agnes, “We have around 26 to 27 volunteers, which is fantastic. One young chap came here three years ago for what was meant to be a short time but he is still with us and works every day except Thursday. We always welcome new volunteers.”
Agnes said the shop continued to do extremely well, serving its local community and raising vital funds for Oxfam’s overseas programme work to overcome poverty.