A “Mighty Captain” Turns a New Page

Our much-loved and aptly named Hornsby Book Depot Coordinator, Bob Page, hands on the baton to new team leader Philip Howe. Bob’s 15 years (so far) of extraordinary volunteering with Lifeline H2H were acknowledged at a Thank-You function in his honour on Tuesday.   

Most of the team, along with partners, gathered at the Hornsby Book Depot to thank Bob in person for his inspirational leadership and invaluable contribution to Lifeline over his long tenure with H2H. To complement the lovely lunch provided, volunteers brought in a home-made cake and desserts, along with some fresh camellias for decoration.  

CEO Wendy Carver, who has enjoyed a warm, productive relationship with Bob throughout the 15 years, delivered a speech in which she outlined his history with our centre and shared some fond reminiscences. She likened Bob – with his dynamism and unflagging dedication and commitment – to the Energizer bunny, “who keeps going and going and going … long after everyone else has run out of puff.” 

Wendy also mentioned Bob’s many admirable achievements, which were recognised by Lifeline Australia in 2018 when he won their Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award for all of NSW: 

“Bob is a true champion of volunteering, who has made a real difference to Lifeline H2H – not only in the funds raised but in the enablement of our life-saving services … I have personally loved every minute of working alongside Bob and could not be more grateful for the work he and the Hornsby Team have achieved. They are, as Bob is always very quick to point out, team achievements. Team achievements that (in my view) would not have been possible without a mighty Team Captain.” 

After Bob said a few words in reply and praised his wonderful team for all their hard work and friendship, book volunteer Judy Nichols read out a poem she hand-wrote and gifted to him in a card: 

You have given 100% to leading us on
Thru COVID, lockdown, book fairs & on & on
Weekly meetings for all volunteers
Passes on the necessary info for all to hear
Meeting after meeting you did attend
With many an ear you had to bend
We know you appreciate the help given
By many active volunteers who are driven
Complaints you handle from day to day
But you get around these in your wily way
You count the boxes weekly behind our backs
And give us updates if our categories lack
For work hard behind the scenes
Preparing books for shops to grow their means
Your old collectibles catching dust
Will get more attention as they must
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Bob is always doing his thing
What a great job you have done
Many, many thanks for a job well done.   

Margaret Carey then gave a heartfelt speech on behalf of the whole team, which was followed by Deb Hughes thanking Bob’s wife, Sue, for her patience, forbearance and support of Bob over the years that enabled him to give so much of his time and efforts to Lifeline.  

Fortunately, we are not bidding farewell to Bob, as he will continue to volunteer at the Hornsby book depot while Philip Howe moves into Bob’s former position. We are extremely grateful to Philip for stepping up and bringing all his skills, knowledge and experience to this vital role within our organisation. We also want to acknowledge and thank Deb Hughes for taking on the role of Castle Hill Book Fair Coordinator. 

Well, Bob, we are delighted that you won’t be leaving us just yet, but for now, please accept our deepest thanks and appreciation for everything you have given to Lifeline. Your massive contribution has helped our centre change and save lives, and we gratefully salute you.