Full circle: Almost four decades on, Coffs Harbour Meals on Wheels founder Paul Ireland is being served meals from manager Bronwyn Webber.
Full circle: Almost four decades on, Coffs Harbour Meals on Wheels founder Paul Ireland is being served meals from manager Bronwyn Webber. Bruce Thomas

Meals on wheels founder a customer

PAUL Ireland is beginning to appreciate the importance of working for his community after his efforts have come back to help when he needs it most.

In 1972, the Coffs Harbour man worked tirelessly to set up a Meals on Wheels service in the city – 38 years on, he’s a recipient.

Mr Ireland was in his 50s when he started campaigning for the service to be started up in the area and never thought about actually benefiting from it himself.

He got to work drumming up support around the district and it didn’t take long for Meals on Wheels in Coffs Harbour to become a reality.

Aided by local church groups and other organisations, Mr Ireland and his team was soon serving more than 50 people. Support quickly spread to Woolgoolga and Sawtell, where branches were also set up.

“It wasn’t very hard to get support, the Coffs Coast Advocate helped a lot too – they used to publish the rosters back then free of charge,” Mr Ireland said.

“I suppose I’m pretty proud of what I did – but I don’t have a lot of time to think about that.”

Manager of Coffs Harbour Meals on Wheels Bronwyn Webber said it was ‘fantastic’ the service was now helping the original founder.



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