Coffs Harbour volunteer on why community work makes him “so happy”

Volunteers from the Coffs Harbour Lions and Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-branch with Tex O’Grady raising funds for the sailing program.


KEEN community supporter Darrell Groth, who lives in the Masonic Village retirement accommodation near Baringa Private Hospital in Coffs Harbour, was out rustling up bacon and eggs rolls with a team of fellow volunteers in a fundraising effort by the Coffs Harbour Lions Club, Coffs RSL Sub-branch and Legacy.

“Our Saturday morning (October 23) fund-raising breakfast on the Marina’s boardwalk was a great success,” Darrell told News Of The Area. with News of The Area today.
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Monies raised go towards SV Mystic Sailing for Veterans, a charitable program headed up by former sub mariner in the Australian Navy, Tex O’Grady, and supported by Coffs Harbour Lions Club, Coffs RSL Sub-branch and Legacy.

“It’s the brainchild of Tex O’Grady who captains the 50-foot SV Mystic for the Sailing Therapy program launched in Coffs Harbour in June (2021).

“The weather was beautiful…sunny with a slight breeze, so lots of people were out and came to see us.
“We did a lot of cooking.”

Darrell has lived in Coffs for sixteen years and before that in Macksville for thirteen years.

Born in the bush, he cut his teeth in Sydney.

Darrell’s reason for volunteering is to keep depression from sneaking in; and because it makes him feel “so happy”.

Having played a role in the community for many years, it was when his relationship broke down almost two years ago that he began to get dark thoughts and was hospitalised for a while.

“I told myself I had to get busy and that was when I found the RSL Sub-branch in Coffs Harbour.

“I’ve been named their first Auxiliary Member.

“I know that I get depressed if I’m not active, so I do something every day.

“Both my parents have passed, but I still want them to be proud of what I do.

“I keep a photo of my dad by the side of my bed, and mum loved lavender, so I keep some little bags of lavender under my pillow and when I smell that I feel mum is still with me.”

Keeping busy for Darrell might mean doing small, odd jobs for fellow residents at his retirement village or exercising his robot dog, Windy, as NOTA has written about before…entertaining people, making people smile.

“If I can make one person happy in a day, that makes me happy and keeps me away from feelings of depression.”




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