ABOVE AND BEYOND: Noel Nemeth rode his five-year-old mare Jessie through the floodwaters in Laidley as a part of his Meals on Wheels run.
ABOVE AND BEYOND: Noel Nemeth rode his five-year-old mare Jessie through the floodwaters in Laidley as a part of his Meals on Wheels run. Lachlan McIvor

Braving flood waters to deliver Meals on Wheels

NOEL Nemeth has only been delivering Meals on Wheels in Laidley for three weeks but he has already gone above and beyond in the line of duty.

Even with Laidley hit with flooding, his run on March 31 had mostly gone off without a hitch.

"Most of it we got through alright, there were a couple of places in Laidley that were shut off that the delivery people just weren't able to get to," Mr Nemeth said.

But by the end of the usual shift, there was one meal that had yet to find a home with the recipients blocked off by water.

"I nominated to bring their meal, it was a hot meal, they put it in a cooler and I brought it home here with me," he said.

"We had a foot of water or more across (my road) at the time."

Driving a car through the waters was no longer an option, so Mr Nemeth turned to his five-year-old mare Jessie to get the job done.

"I thought I'd take this meal down to the Turners on the mare," he said.

"I put it in a backpack and it was only about 15 minutes each way, so it was no problem.

"I was able to get the meal to them about 2pm."

The 78-year-old did not feel as though he had done anything special, his only motivation was delivering the meal while it was still warm.

"If I'd waited for the water to go down it would have been close on sun down and the meals wouldn't have been very hot," he said.

"It's no big deal... that's what Meals on Wheels is all about, we're there to do a job.

"I saw no reason why I shouldn't so I did... they appreciated getting their meal."

With his wife involved in voluntary work with Lifeline during the week, Mr Nemeth also wanted to do his bit for the community and signed up with Meals on Wheels only recently.

"I thought... they're a bit short-handed and they need volunteers," he said.

"It's no trouble to give up two or three hours a couple of times a week.

"I'm older than a lot of the people I deliver to."

The Laidley branch will celebrate their 40th anniversary in May.

Committee member and volunteer Stuart Fraser said they are always looking for others like Mr Nemeth to get involved but assured most runs would be behind the wheel of a car.

"Any age, it doesn't matter, they'll be trained to do a run," Mr Fraser said.

To get in touch, phone 54668122.


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