IDA Johnson couldn’t believe her ears on Saturday when Page MP Janelle Saffin named the new $400,000 Iluka Meals on Wheels kitchen after her and good friend Doreen Cupitt.
The Meals on Wheels stalwart was delighted to have the new kitchen named after her.
“I feel honoured and proud to have achieved this ... because I am 92,” she said.
The new kitchen features a combo oven, cool room, blast chiller, office and has a disabled toilet and shower room.
At the official opening of the kitchen, Ms Saffin paid tribute to the Iluka Bowls Club, Iluka Golf Club and Sedgers Reef Hotel, for raising a total of $77,000 from raffles, donations, a garage sale and cent auction sale. She also praised Mrs Johnson.
“Ida has volunteered with Meals on Wheels for 43 years here in Iluka, where she has been a Meals on Wheels committee president, and before that, on the Central Coast.
“Doreen is a foundation member of Iluka Meals on Wheels from when the organisation was first established in 1979 and a former treasurer,” she said.
Ms Saffin said the project would not have come to fruition without the determination of the Meals on Wheels committee.
“I would like to pay tribute to the MOW committee – president Kingsley Cornwall, vice presidents Ida and Colin Kempshall, Marion Kurz, and members Kaye Becker, Olive Pavey and Aileen Cameron – for sticking with their six-year mission to secure a new kitchen.
“Iluka Meals on Wheels co-ordinator Eleanor Moor, relief co-ordinator Desiree Auer and 70 volunteers now have a spacious kitchen where hot lunchtime meals can be cooked from fresh ingredients for more than 30 elderly residents in Iluka and Woombah.”
A total of $240,000 toward the kitchen came from Federal Government funding, promised as an election commitment by Ms Saffin.
Iluka Meals on Wheels contributed $45,000, NSW Aged, Disability and Home Care $33,000, and the Department of Veterans Affairs $4500.
The kitchen is built on land gifted by the NSW Department of Lands.
“It is a mammoth effort from a small but strong community, and testament to what can be done with a will,” Ms Saffin said.