Norma Allen receives lifetime membership: ‘You don’t do it to win badges’

She  had been a judge at the Royal Easter Show, appeared on national television with Andrew Denton, and now 89-year-old Norma Allen is a life member of the Cobargo Country Women’s Association.

LIFE MEMBERSHIP: Eighty-nine-year-old Norma Allen was honoured with life membership of the Cobargo Country Women’s Association this week.

LIFE MEMBERSHIP: Eighty-nine-year-old Norma Allen was honoured with life membership of the Cobargo Country Women’s Association this week.

“I’m very elated and very honoured, but I didn’t expect it,” the branch patron said this week.

Ms Allen was presented with the honour on Wednesday, following weeks or tight lipped preparation by members and the community.

“I was told my son Anthony would be guest speaker, then when I saw my other son Paul and my grandson David walk in I thought they’d come to watch him talk,” she said.

“I have heard Anthony speak lots of times, so I almost didn’t go,” she said with a laugh.

Ms Allen has been a member of the organisation for over six decades.

“You don’t do it to win badges, you do it because it’s important,” she said.

“When you live in a small village, you do what you can to make it grow.

“The companionship has been wonderful, and I’ve made lots of loyal friends.”

Ms Allen said much has changed since she first joined the organisation.

“We arrived at meetings in gloves and a hat for a full day of programs, but people are more busy these days,” she said.

“We had to work hard for funding back then, and we had a concert each year.”

She said she is proud of the work the organisation does, both in Australia and abroad.

“We enable women to talk with the community, and help people overseas,” she said.

“We’ve recently been working at helping new mothers in Papua New Guinea.”

There is almost no Cobargo community event over the last 60 years, Ms Allen hasn’t been involved with.

She has been involved with the Cobargo Agriculture Show, Cobargo Cricket Club, Bermagui Senior Citizens, Yuin Folk Club, Cobargo Garden Club and the Bega Medallion Committee.

She also volunteered her time at the Narira Retirement Village and fundraised for the Cobargo swimming pool.

Ms Allen was a steward at the Cobargo AP&H Society for over half a century, and a judge at the Royal Easter Show for more than 20 years.

In her early 20s she became involved in cookery judging, and for 18 years was part of the State Land Cooking Committee, travelling the state teaching people all about what to look for as a judge.

“I found it very rewarding helping people wanting to learn how to cook,” she said.

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