So much more than “silly old ducks!”
If you’re wandering the streets and you catch a conversation regarding ‘the 3 Molong Grannies’, rest assured it’s not a rude remark, the grannies are a household name in Molong and rightfully so. Interviewing these three ladies was an absolute hoot, with some delicious sandwiches thrown in to the mix.
I met Lesley, a member of the 3 Grannies when she came to our office to donate some homemade pillows for a fundraiser we had written about in the magazine, we knew we had to learn more! These ladies are nothing short of amazing and they are the first to have a laugh at themselves and some of the memories that they have made.
Formed three years ago, the Charity group is made up of Heather Woodhouse, Margaret Betts and Lesley Bye, they’ve previously worked for the Biggest Morning tea, Daffodil Day, Give me 5 for Kids, the Tractor Trek (Little Wings), St Johns Ambulance, any children’s charity that is in need and any child from the community who is in need also.
The three ladies first came together for the Tractor Trek, “Margaret and I always said that we were going to do it (we didn’t think we actually would),” Heather laughed. Incredibly, that first year they raised $17,000 for Camp Quality. “We have always worked for charity, and we have all got a soft spot for kiddies, so whatever charity we work for it’s always children orientated.”
The Molong community love the 3 Grannies, “You’ll be down the street and hear, ‘Oh the old grannies’,” Margaret laughed, “We are class acts. When it came down to what we would call ourselves, well we were just three old grannies, there was no coming up with a name that’s just what we are *laughs* we thought that was most appropriate and the community love it.”
“There are a lot of jobs that we do that doesn’t benefit our group at all, some things we make to be raffled off and sometimes it’s as simple as a street stall.” Lesley is known for her creative talents including pillow and quilt making, which are usually used to auction off, and Heather and Margaret enjoy the cooking aspect - as you can see, altogether they are unstoppable.
“Whenever there’s a need, we do what we can, when we can”
“We’ve had an awful lot of fun,” said Heather, “Whenever there’s a need, we do what we can, when we can. We believe it’s the grannie element that looks after us, they just love seeing us around. We are very proud of the finances that we have given to the children’s charities, it’s the thought that counts so when he can help out its very rewarding for us.”
Heather continued, “We have been very adventurous, we have done a lot of things we never thought we would do. I had never driven a tractor before, the first Tractor Trek, Margaret and I were in the state forest just out of Cowra. The creek was that high it was over the top wheels of the tractor, we got our shoes wet and we laughed and giggled the entire day.
Margaret added, “Heather had the steering wheel, and I was lucky I had my seatbelt on because I went up in the air, Margaret laughed. “We were lucky that we got through because the vehicles behind us were stuck in the mud.”
“It’s all part of it,” Lesley said, “I think it’s been an encouragement to everybody else because they have seen us having so much fun. We are so pleased at how many seniors support us, they get that excited when they see us. It gives us something to do, coming off the farm we’ve all had to work hard, and we are used to working.”
“The average age between us is 81, so we are doing alright! You’re only as old as you feel,” Margaret laughed, “Sometimes it’s 100, sometimes its ten.”
When asked how they would describe their group, Margaret jumped in, “silly old ducks”, they all laughed. Heather added, “We are dedicated. We are going to continue working while ever we can. We are just here to raise funds and help children and we are having a ball whilst we are doing it.”
The 3 Molong Grannies also create jams and pickles from donated fruit and vegetables, which they use to sell at their street stalls for their chosen appeal. If you would like to donate any spare fruit or vegetables, please contact Heather on 6366 8218