Longtime masters of volunteering

Volunteering is fun . . . Mosgiel trio (from left) Shirley Egerton (81), Anna Aston (67) and Noeline Harris (83) have more than 64 years of combined experience in competing and helping out at the Masters Games. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

Fond memories, a few new friends and a drawerful of T-shirts are often the rewards many volunteers seek when assisting at the Dunedin Masters Games.

Mosgiel trio Shirley Egerton, Anna Aston and Noeline Harris have been guiding lost people, advising where events are, acting as timekeepers and generally helping out wherever needed for more than 20 years.

Mrs Aston started in 1992 at the first games and said she has had plenty of fun over the years.

“I competed in tennis in that first year, then joined the volunteers from then on.

“Over the years I’ve got a wee stack of medals from the tennis games but I really enjoy meeting all the different people.

“Often I put down ‘partner required’ on my entry form a good way to meet new people, like a couple of games ago when I had this really lovely Australian lady as a tennis partner, ” she said.

The duo of Shirley Egerton and Noeline Harris teamed up years ago as bowls partners.

“Another lady asked me if I would help volunteer back in 2002 so I came along and loved it,” Mrs Egerton said.

“I’ve got all the T-shirts and along the way had a lot of fun with the bowls.

“Noeline and I play both indoor and outdoor bowls in the tournament, some take it really [seriously], but we have a lot of fun.

“The other day one of our competitors was a 91-year-old woman from Whanganui. She was very competitive but also very nice playing when I get to her age.”

The pair often worked the help desks at different games sites, pointing people in the right direction and being timekeepers at swimming events.

“Every two years you get to meet your old friends and then also make many new ones .. it’s a great way to keep in touch with people and we will be doing this for as long as our health lets us,” Mrs Harris said.