Michelle Nicholls, “Granny” Mary Pearce and Samantha Smith operate Gladstone’s finest canteen at Kin Kora State School.
Michelle Nicholls, “Granny” Mary Pearce and Samantha Smith operate Gladstone’s finest canteen at Kin Kora State School. Mike Richards

Granny Mary wins state award for tuckshop volunteering

PLAYING grandmother to 900 school children is a task "Granny" Mary Pearce excels at.

Loved by each of the students at Kin Kora State School, Mrs Pearce has been awarded the title of 2013 Volunteer of the Year in the Queensland State School Tuckshops Competition.

"I am blown away that people really take the time to say thank you," she said. "Here in Australia they really value you, it's not like that in other countries."

Originally from the United Kingdom, Granny Mary has travelled with her husband to pursue work opportunities in India, the Middle East, and now Gladstone.

"I'm the good thing that has come out of Curtis Island," she laughed.

"These days, especially in Gladstone, parents are busy working and volunteers are hard to find."

The award ceremony took place in Brisbane on November 1, where Mrs Pearce was awarded with a trophy and flowers.

The sensitive, patient and generous volunteer praised her fellow tuckshop conveners, saying if she didn't thoroughly enjoy the role, she wouldn't donate her time.

"It really is an award for the school," she said. "To be nominated, the tuckshop must meet a four or five-star criteria."

Samantha Smith, managing convener of Kin Kora State School tuckshop, said Mrs Pearce had never hesitated to help the school if required.

"Not only is she an amazing volunteer, all round, she is an amazing person," she said.

Gardening is another of Granny Mary's passions, having also recently won the Civic Beautification Committee Garden Award for New Home Garden.

The adopted grandmother says she loves Gladstone and the community, and has no plans to leave just yet.



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