Vinnies Shepparton volunteers farewelled a stalwart of 18 years at a morning tea this month.
Vinnies Shepparton regional president Denise Crawford thanked the well-known Ray Lawless for his outstanding commitment to the charity and his contagious enthusiasm for all Vinnies staff and their many clients during his time in Shepparton.
‘‘Ray did a great job managing the operations of the Shepparton Benalla Rd shop, of the then St Vincent de Paul Society (now Vinnies), and more recently in our Shepparton transit hub,’’ Ms Crawford said.
‘‘He managed up to 120 volunteers per week working in the retail shop. Through that time, we had had over 400 people on the books.’’
Ms Crawford said volunteers such as Mr Lawless made Vinnies what it was today — a strong, generous, vibrant, giving charity.
Enjoying his time with Vinnies, Mr Lawless said he had made life-long friends within the charity’s management, volunteers and clients.
‘‘I’ll never forget any of them. There were many, many unique characters amongst them. I am very pleased we could assist them in some way through their time of crisis,’’ he said.
Mr Lawless spoke of his fond memories of working with Chris Moylan, who will also retire soon.
‘‘I have a colleague also retiring soon, Mr Chris Moylan,’’ Mr Lawless said.
‘‘He joined Vinnies with me all those years ago.
‘‘Chris co-ordinated all district shop pick-ups and local welfare deliveries ... we worked well together as a great team delivering all sorts of services to the local community, and we had a bit of fun as well.’’
Mr Lawless said he was considering coming back as a volunteer to thank Vinnies for the treasured memories he received.