Attunga woman Robyn Mowbrayís happy place is helping others in any way she can through the paths of volunteering. And for her kind heartedness, Robyn, who was born and raised a member of the well-known Abra family that has enveloped the small village for decades, was recently one of five volunteers in the area to be added to the 2020 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.
The Honour Roll is an initiative of the NSW Governmentís Rural Womenís Network, and recognizes women for their valuable volunteer roles and outstanding contributions they provide. Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson announced the list of awardees recently in Tamworth, and, along with Robyn, that list included Bowling Alley Pointís
Carol Fiddes, Loomberahís Janelle Tongue and Trish Moore and Walchaís Pauline Levingston.
This yearís recipients of the Hidden Treasure award joined a growing list of over 1000 volunteers who have been recognised since the first Honour Roll was launched back in 2010.
Robynís list of contributions to society is a mile long, and sheís showing no signs of slowing down, despite the recent loss of her late husband of 57 years, Warwick Mowbray who suffered a stroke back in 2001.
In 2002 she and Warwick became members of Tamworth Stroke Recovery Group where Robyn has been assisting wherever possible ever since. As a member of the group, Robyn has helped with the various fundraising barbecues held at Bunnings, transportation of many patients to and from meetings and functions, and wherever required on the groupís scheduled trips away.
She was also a lynchpin in the creation of the Stroke Respite Garden in the grounds of Hunter New England Health in Tamworth.
Closer to home, Robyn helped young students with their reading at the Attunga School, helped supervise the weekly Kidís Club at the local Anglican Church, was treasurer of the villageís hall committee for many years, and annually helps with organization of the Anzac Day Services in Attunga. Sister-in law Larraine Abra said that Robyn was always the first to take food and the like to those who had lost loved ones, or find a comforting word to those who had become incapacitated.
Robyn completed her primary schooling at the small Garthowen School which closed down back around the mid-1960s, then wound up her education at Church of England Girlsí School (now Calrossy) in Tamworth as a boarder.
Boarding was a bit scary to start with, I got very homesick. But once I settled in, I loved it,î she said.
Away from her many volunteering commitments, Robyn still finds time to potter around in her large garden, attend RuralFitexercise classes in Tamworth on a weekly basis, play table tennis, she loves board games and creating craft items for the regular markets in the area. And she refuses to miss agame of tennis once a week. ìIíve been playing tennis since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. We used to have a tennis court on the farm (ëWindermere, Attunga), and while the adults were having a chat and cuppa, us kids would get out on the court for a hit,î she recalled.
I love my tennis, have played it all my life.î By Vinnie Todd
Photo: Hidden Treasure recipient Robyn Mowbray enjoys quality time in her large garden in Attunga.