Getting the job done with minimum fuss
MARGARET Ellis was born in Kyogle and has spent her life helping the community she has been a part of for the past 73 years.
The modest woman, who is one of four people on the Northern Rivers who received an Order of Australia Medal yesterday, insisted The Northern Star didn't "make too much of a fuss" about her momentous achievement.
"When you do something you don't expect to get recognition for it," Mrs Ellis said.
However, sometimes those who speak the softest are the ones the community must shout the loudest for.
In addition to working for Shirley's General Store in Kyogle for 38 years, her long list of achievements includes being director of the Kyogle Bowling Club, a life member of the Kyogle Country Music Association and a caterer for annual shows through her involvement with the Kyogle Pastoral Agricultural and Multicultural Society.
Mrs Ellis is a foundation member of the ladies' auxiliary for Kyogle's netball and rugby league associations and has organised anniversary celebrations for various sporting clubs.
While she has actively fund-raised for many community groups, arguably her biggest achievement is money raised for the Renal Dialysis Unit at the Lismore Base Hospital.
Over the 12 years Mrs Ellis' sister Gene visited the unit, Mrs Ellis and a team of people raised about $80,000 for the unit.
Mrs Ellis said her desire to help others came out of the morals taught to her by her parents.
"My parents always told me, when you start something, you do it 100% or you forget about it," Mrs Ellis said. "But I did not do this alone."
Without a loyal and dedicated group of family and friends, she said she would not have raised a cent.
And she doesn't intend stopping anytime soon.
"I'll still keep going, whenever there is help needed, I'll go there," Ms Ellis said.
Her current project is raising money for the Kyogle Cinema. And how did she feel about receiving an OAM?
"When I found out, I read the letter about a dozen times, I was so overwhelmed and honoured because I never in a million years thought I'd be in line," Mrs Ellis said.