CHARITY work has always been Horsham’s Win Pilmore’s motivation in life.
Mrs Pilmore recalled volunteering from a young age with her mother – and now at the age of 90, she says her charity work keeps her going.
“I have been into helping people all my life, really. I know that more than anything,” she said.
Mrs Pilmore was born at St Arnaud in 1928 and went to school at Marnoo East.
But, when her father enlisted and fought in World War II she moved and went to school in Stawell.
We all get on, we all raise some money and that’s what it’s all about.Win Pilmore
The Horsham RSL became a big part of her life because her family served in the Australian Army. She said the connection motivated her to volunteer for the Horsham RSL’s legacy committee.
“My husband was in the Army and my father was a prisoner of war in Germany way back when I was 14 years old,” she said. “I only had one brother and he died when Dad was a prisoner of war and that was terribly hard for Mum. We had war with our family for a long time.”
Despite tragedy, Mrs Pilmore said her mother organised dances for return serviceman and raised money to send parcels to prisoners of war.
I have been into helping people all my life really. I know that more than anything.Win Pilmore
She said she would volunteer with her mother when she was 15.
“I remember it was hard for Mum, but she use to run dances and raise money to send parcels to the prisoners of war for Christmas or birthdays – whether they got it or not, I don’t know,” she said. “Charity has been a big part of my life. We were always doing things and mum was always running dances for the return serviceman so I would go and help as well.”
Mrs Pilmore said the Australian Red Cross was also a huge part of her life. She is currently a supervisor at the Horsham Australian Red Cross opportunity store, but has volunteered for more than 40 years. She said she first started volunteering at the Balmoral Australian Red Cross opportunity shop.
“I did it because I wanted to and I wanted to do something else and get off the farm for a bit,” she said.
She’d be crook, but she still has to help. She stands there and irons for three hours straight. I don’t know any 90 year old that does that, but Win does.Lynne McCann
When her husband died 34 years ago, Mrs Pilmore moved to Horsham and continued volunteering.
“I cut up rags, which is a good money spinner and I take that home and do it in my garage a lot of the time,” she said. “It gives me an outlet. I can’t work in a shop for money, I can only do things for charity now and that’s why I do it. We all get on, we all raise some money and that’s what it’s all about.”
Horsham Australian Red Cross line manager Lynne McCann said Mrs Pilmore was an asset to the store and inspiration to all volunteers. She said Mrs Pilmore was beating cancer at the moment, but she would still be in the shop lending a hand.
“She’d be crook, but she still has to help. She stands there and irons for three hours straight. I don’t know any 90 year-old who does that – but Win does,” she said. “Customers know what she’s fighting and everyone comes in and asks about her.”