Eleanor Lobb has been volunteering her time to help others ever since she was a child.
“My parents were both volunteers and as a child I cut pictures to send to missionaries,” Lobb said.
As she grew older, she did even more. As a teenager, Lobb knit men’s sweaters for the Red Cross to supply to servicemen during the Second World War. And, as a college student, she was doing volunteer recruitment for a small eastern college when she met the man who has been her husband for 72 years
Newly married, Lobb became part of a small community group who assisted needy families in the area.
“When I joined the Hospital Auxiliary in 1961, I opened a whole new door to the world of volunteerism which has included opportunities, over the years, to many health-related groups as well as community, faith-oriented and civic organizations.”
Earlier this month, Lobb was honoured for her many years of service when she was presented with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, a Governor General award.
Brad Vis, MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, presented the medal to Lobb who has been volunteering for 60 years and is the longest serving member of the Mission Hospital Auxiliary, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
At the heart of what she does, Lobb puts others first. Years of her life have been dedicated to caring for patients and visitors at the Mission Hospital, making blankets for families abroad, slippers for the Christmas Bureau and regularly donating blood to Canada Blood Services.
“It was a huge honour for me to take part in this occasion. Mrs. Lobb sets an example for all of us in service above self and I am thrilled the highest office in our country is recognizing her contributions,” said Vis.
While she was proud to accept the medal, Lobb doesn’t volunteer for the recognition.
“Volunteering has never paid in dollars, but I am rich in memories which are 100 per cent mine and no one can take them from me.”
Her memory bank contains “items from places I have been, activities I have engaged in, wonderful people I have met and worked with, functions I have attended and projects I have seen completed to enhance the lives of the citizens of many communities.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for volunteers like Lobb to continue to donate their time, but she always finds a way to contribute.
“Covid has played havoc with the world and volunteers have been hard hit by restrictions. I feel fortunate that I have been able to continue to knit slippers for the Christmas Bureau (200 pairs this year) and to complete hundreds of full-size blankets for MCC’s overseas relief programs.”
“It is my hope that once Covid restrictions have been removed, the people in Mission who have time and energy, skills and resources, will take the opportunity to revitalize the many organizations that rely on volunteers to make them function. Life will never be the same, but volunteers will always be needed and welcomed.”