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Community & Business

27 April, 2022

Isabel Bensley hits 100 years

Gilgandra’s Citizen of the Year for 1984, Isabel Bensley OAM, reached her 100th birthday earlier this month.

By Emily Middleton

Mrs Bensley was born in Cowra, and settled in Gilgandra after marrying her husband Arthur Bensley in 1946. Together they had four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Mrs Bensley left Gilgandra in 1987.

Currently residing in Cowra at the Weeroona nursing home, Mrs Bensley celebrated the occasion with family and friends. There was a lot of reminiscing involved, including a reflection on the many organisations she has been dedicated to over her 100 years.

In the Thursday February 2, 1984 edition of The Gilgandra Weekly, an article on Mrs Bensley’s award appeared.

The article stated:

“The Senior Citizen of the Year award was announced on the night of Australia Day at the celebrations held at the shire hall.

“This award was presented to Mrs Isabel Bensley for her service to the community. Mrs Bensley was nominated for this award by the Rotary Club of Gilgandra.

“Mrs Bensley has been involved in the following organisations: Cooee Lodge Association – secretary; Cooee Lodge Management Committee – member; AWA Presbyterian Women’s Association – president; RSL Women’s Auxiliary – member, awarded life membership; Presbyterian Church Committee of Management – treasurer, also representative on Central Committee of Gilgandra Branch; Gilgandra Branch CWA – treasurer and international officer; Gilgandra Hospital Auxiliary – treasurer; Gilgandra District Hospital – director and member of the finance committee; Hospital Recreation Centre – voluntary helper; Gilgandra Meals on Wheels – secretary, also Roster Secretary; Gilgandra Branch Red Cross – vice president; Gilgandra Infants School Mother’s Club – patron; Gilgandra Girl Guides Local Association – past commissioner (five year term) at present, patron; High School P and C Association – life membership; Blood Bank – assists in organising trips to Dubbo Hospital for donors. Past Services: Local Cubs, Scouts, Guides – purchasing officer; treasurer for High School canteen; treasurer for P and C Association; treasurer for IYUP – International Year for Disabled Persons.

“Mrs Bensley responded by saying that she was very proud and honoured to be named citizen of the year.

“Although Mrs Bensley is involved in so many organisations it is only because of the enjoyment and fulfilment that she has involved herself in helping the Gilgandra community. Mrs Bensley wished to thank the Australia Day Committee for this award.”

According to the Cowra Guardian, along with a message from the Queen, Mrs Bensley also received well wishes from prime minister Scott Morrison, governor general David Hurley, member for Riverina Michael McCormack MP, and Cowra mayor Bill West.

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