Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme

Flora Wickham OAM 2015

This heartfelt story sent-in by Anne-Marie Traynor, Manager Volunteer Services, Calvary Health Care Kogarah

On Australia Day 2015 our beloved Flora Wickham was awarded an OAM for her community service at Calvary Kogarah, St Vincent de Paul Society and for her involvement in her local church.

Flora and her husband Laurie commenced volunteering at Calvary in November 1985. Laurie was a volunteer driver in the Day hospital (died in Calvary in 2011) and Flora volunteers in the Palliative Care wards. Anyone who knows Flora would recognise her infectious laughter as she visits the patients, always willing to listen to their stories and  I might say, share a few funny ones of her own! You can’t help but feel uplifted when you meet Flora, she is just one of those very special people that make your day a better one for having spoken with her and I am sure the patients certainly feel that too. With a watering can in hand, Flora said she always introduces herself as ‘Flora the Flower lady’ which brings a smile to the patient’s faces. She said “she feels so honoured to work at Calvary for the past 31 years…. it’s about giving of yourself and bringing a bit of comfort to the patients and their families. I always notice when patients seem lonely as they are gazing out the windows and I make a special effort to speak with them and provide some light hearted conversation and moments of reminiscence”.

Last year when Flora was recognised for her 30 years of volunteer service to Calvary, she stated that she at least expected a ‘golden bed pan’!  That’s our Flora, always ready with some funny comment.

So our heartfelt thanks to Flora for the indelible memory she leaves in the lives of all she comes in contact with and for the gift she continues to be at Calvary.

Congratulations on a well-deserved recognition of Flora’s community contribution and for her incredible dedication in the Palliative Care at Calvary Kogarah.