AT the age of 17 when most of her friends were off enjoying themselves as teenagers do, Temple Cornish was beginning a lifetime of community service by driving elderly parishoners of the Uniting Church around Orange.
That dedication to the community has expanded to involve service to several other organisations spanning many decades. Now Mrs Cornish has been honoured with an Order of Australia Medal in the general division.
“When the letter came I had to read it twice to sink in - I thought what an honour and why me because I know a lot of people who do so many good things,” she said.
Meals on Wheels has been an organisations close to her heart along with the Trefoil organisation for former Girl Guide leaders.
“I remember I hadn’t been married long - I think I was only about 21 when they called for interest in Meals on Wheels and I went along to the first meeting and I stayed for 50 years,” she said.
She is absolutely passionate about the Girl Guide organisation which she says has been a big part of her life since she was child. Since then she has held the roles of liaison officer, advisor, president and regional leader and commissioner with Trefoil.
“I left guiding when I couldn’t get down on the floor and get up again so I moved to the Trefoil part of guiding,” she said.
Throughout her life she has been able to maintain a balance between her family and work commitments.
Mrs Cornish is currently a director of the United Protestant Association of New South Wales and is a pastoral carer at Ascott Gardens Aged Care Facility.
Mrs Cornish is also a founding member of Orange’s University of the Third Age and was the founding co-ordinator of Orange’s Housekeepers Emergency Services, now known as Home Care Services.
Warm and personable, it seems Mrs Cornish has become friends with half of Orange through her roles with many different organisations. No doubt they will congratulate her over the next few days.
Mrs Cornish was named as Orange’s citizen of the year in 2008 and was honoured to carry the Olympic Torch in 2000.