Ted's amazing life devoted to others

EDWIN 'Ted' Thompson Mortimer has an impressive resume filled with volunteering work and has the certification to prove it.

At 82 years of age, Mr Mortimer is active in the Dubbo community particularly with his neighbours and in the garden, where he likes to spend the majority of his time.

For half of his life, he worked as a supervising technician at Telecom and has lived in the same south Dubbo residence for many years.

The widower, father and grandfather of three lost his wife to lupus in 1995 and since then has dedicated his life to helping other worthwhile organisations around town.

"I've been involved in junior sport since 1977 and have watched my three children develop in sports such as archery and tennis," Mr Mortimer said.

"Junior sport was a big part of my life for many years and I'm proud to have been in charge of the NSW archery team in 1988, and for them to come home with 24 medals...it was a great achievement in my career."

Mr Mortimer used to drive the bus for Lourdes Hospital, conducted leather and wood work for Lourdes Day Care and also conducted armchair travel as well.

While at Bracken House, Mr Mortimer drove a bus and also conducted an armchair travel class.

He used to mow the lawns at St Andrews Uniting Church, as well as the Talbragar Country Women's Association (CWA) rooms.

Today, he is the vice-president of the Dubbo Wagon Wheelers and secretary of the Macquarie Probus Club. He also regularly works on his garden as well as his neighbours'.

"After my days at St Andrews, things changed. Lourdes sold their buses, armchair travel classes stopped and as soon as I turned 80 I had to hand in my bus and heavy transport licence...it was almost like I got made redundant," he said.

"Now I just keep a close watch on old neighbours across the street. I cut the lawns, garden and water them when my elderly neighbour isn't there. If she (neighbour) notices something could be wrong, I get a phone call straight away...I live in a good neighbourhood.".

He said he kept the grounds tidy at the Talbragar CWA rooms, helped a nursery friend three times a month to deliver orders and was generally available when someone needed help.

Among Mr Mortimer's awards were the 2004 RSL Youth Club Senior Sportsperson of the Year, the Dubbo PCYC Special Achievement Award in 1995, various community certificates and certificates of appreciation.

The long list is sure to continue as Mr Mortimer loves to be kept busy and 'out of the pub.'

"I haven't had a drink in a pub in about 40 years. In my younger days, I accidentally bumped into another patron and had an accident with one of the old beer glasses and lost my index finger...I haven't been able to go in a pub since."

But that doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy a glass of wine or two. At the Mortimer Boxing Day lunch, Mr Mortimer sat down with his daughter and a glass of wine as they watched his grandchildren run around and play, which is something he loved more than his volunteering work.

"Volunteering has kept me active, young and alive. There are always people out there who are worse off than you and that is why I love to help people," he said.

Mr Mortimer said a move away from Dubbo was on the cards in the near future but until then would continue doing what he loved - helping others.

anthony.cini@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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