Couple brings musical joy for 36 years

Musician David Hamill and wife Nancy at the Enliven Volunteer Christmas Party held at Peacehaven Village in Invercargill last Friday.

DAVID and Nancy Hamill may be both 80 years old, but 19 times a month they journey to rest-homes in Invercargill, Riverton and Winton to bring some musical joy to residents.

The couple had volunteered thousands of hours in the 36 years they had been visiting the homes.

Yet, despite their age, they still kept going.

“I see some of the people I’m playing for are younger than me,” Mr Hamill said on Friday.

It all began when Mr Hamill’s father was in Peacehaven Village, when the couple were in their 40s.

The pair, who still had a block of land at Longbush, wouldn’t even let the Covid-19 lockdown stop them.

When Mr Hamill phoned the rest-home staff to see if they would let him play outside, the staff said they would fling all the windows open, he said.

So he took his piano accordion and played to his captive audience.

While it might only be Mr Hamill who played, he also recognised the support of his wife of 55 years who joined him on every visit.

“I couldn’t do it without my wee wifey,” he said.

About 100 people were invited to the Enliven Volunteer Christmas Party – a thank you in recognition of the work the volunteers did with rest-home residents and those living in the community who might need a bit of support.

As well as tasty treats, the volunteers also enjoyed a few sing-along tunes as well as a performance from the Queens Park Early Childcare Education children.

At the morning tea was recently retired volunteer manager Lynn Morton.

A former district nurse, Mrs Morton said it was the best job in the world to organise the people who wanted to help others.

Volunteers did a variety of jobs including visiting people in their homes, taking people to get their shopping, driving vans of people to events and playing music in the rest-homes.

They were a very much-needed part of the community who asked for nothing in return, she said.

“Volunteers are not paid not because they are worthless but because they are priceless.”

For Mr and Mrs Hamill, the time they spent entertaining others was thanks enough.

“Sometimes, when I see how happy they are, I have a tear running down my cheek,” Mrs Hamill said.jordan release dateNike