Love of community drives decades of service

Rosemary Ryan
Rosemary Ryan

A folder filled with newspaper clippings lovingly catalogued by Pat Ryan chronicles his wife Rosemary’s decades of community service.

Beaudesert woman Rosemary Ryan, 72, has just been recognised for 30 years of volunteer service with the Cancer Council Queensland.

Her association with the movement dates back to when the Beaudesert branch of the then Queensland Cancer Fund started about 35 years ago.

Rosemary was a nurse with the Blue Nursing Service (now Blue Care) in those days and was among locals who identified the need for a branch of the Cancer Fund locally.

She was moved by the terrible truth that everybody knows somebody touched by cancer, a fact which still rings true today.

Her own father had stomach cancer and died in his 40s and her mother had treatment for breast cancer.

“There’s not many people who aren’t touched by it at all,” she said.

Rosemary retired from nursing in 2014 after a career spanning nearly 50 years.

In her career, which started at Kingaroy in 1967 and included roles with the Blue Nurses, Palen Creek Correctional Centre, Ipswich Hospital and Beaudesert Hospital, she saw all too often the impacts of cancer on people.

She’s lived in Beaudesert since 1972 and for 34 years she has been married to Pat, who she met while she was working as a Blue Nurse.

She describes Pat as her backbone and says she could not have achieved her years of service without his support, particularly when she was juggling full time work with volunteering.

As she manages her own health challenges, Rosemary cannot do quite so many volunteer hours these days however she still loves to be involved.

She is still a member of the Beaudesert Cancer Council branch, secretary of the National Seniors branch, welfare officer for Probus and involved with Jimboomba Quota, the Beaudesert Camera Club and Beaudesert CWA.

“I’ve given a lot to the community, but I’ve also received a lot in return, and I’ve formed lots of friendships over the years,” she said.

“Beaudesert is a wonderful community, and everyone looks out for each other. I like to feel as though I’m being useful.”

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