Leon celebrates 65 years of volunteering
Few know more than Leon and Peter Duncombe just how far the Royal Children’s Hospital fundraiser has come. Leon Duncombe is one of the longest serving volunteers in the money counting room at the Good Friday Appeal, clocking up 65 years this year while son Peter is in his 45th year.
Leon said that although he really enjoyed coming to the Appeal he didn’t know how much longer he’d be able to do it.
“I enjoy meeting all the people and look forward to coming in each year,” he said. “I’ve always worked in the counting room but things are quite different from when I first started.”
Leon said it was mainly through his late wife Judy’s involvement with the social committee at the Hawthorn Football Club that he first came to the Appeal. And he had other links too through his sporting interests as a VFL field umpire in the 1950s, when then Appeal Director Jeff Crouch was also an umpire.
Leon’s son Peter is no slouch in the long-service ranks either – he has had a close association with the Appeal since first rattling a tin before he was 10. He soon moved into the phone room where most of his 45 years volunteering have toted up. However Peter also knows first-hand the value of the Good Friday Appeal to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“We’re one of those typical stories where we’ve utilised the hospital itself, which is a leading edge hospital within the community,” he said.
Leon’s charitable works have not been confined to the Good Friday Appeal – he also looks back fondly on 20 years as a volunteer transport driver for the Australian Red Cross.
“With over 100 years of service between them, we are so grateful for Leon and Peter’s efforts for the Good Friday Appeal,” Appeal Director Anne Randall said.
“It is this selfless dedication of volunteers that makes the Appeal so successful. Additionally, we are thankful to all who dig deep every year to help make the Royal Children’s Hospital a world-class facility.”
Words: Tricia Quirk
Main Image: Jake Nowakowski