What needed to be done

By Sonia Isaacs

COMMUNITY stalwarts Ken and Ann Husband have been volunteering their time for well over 40 years, and along with others, the couple were instrumental in establishing the Landsborough neighbourhood centre Morris House which will mark its 25th year in 2023.

GC&M News caught up with the couple recently to find out a little more about how Morris House was established, and some of the personal highlights they have enjoyed as long running committed volunteers in the local community.

Ken and Ann moved to Landsborough in the early 1980s, and shortly afterwards joined what was then known as the Landsborough Progress Association (LPA). Previously they had both been volunteers at Maroochy Beach Gymnastics and Ann remembers that back then between volunteering, working and family commitments, life was pretty hectic!

“We both worked full time during these periods so it was a pretty busy time especially after we moved to Landsborough and joined the Progress Association, and then we subsequently worked with other members to start the Morris House project,” explained Ann.

Over the following years it was decided to have a neighbourhood/community centre, and the search was on to locate a suitable building and land for the project. During this time Ken worked closely with then councillor Vivienne Coleman to help secure the location and building currently used today. “We were at Mooloolah one day and saw the building that became Morris House, on the site that is now part of the railway there near shopping centre. We approached the developer who said we could have the building which was a small house – at no charge if we moved it,” said Ken.

The building was moved and stored at a house removal site while an application was made to council for land. To help raise funds Ken and Ann, as part of the LPA, ran bingo sessions on alternate Friday nights at the Landsborough School of Arts Hall to raise money for setting up the building, and eventually a lease on the land 478 Old Landsborough Road was granted. From there funding was sought from Council to repair the building and a State Government GCBF grant assisted in the purchase of computers and furnishings; all up this took a number of years until the official opening in 1998.

“We were both committed to starting the Morris House project. There was no community venue for young people or anyone else in Landsborough at the time and it was considered a necessary project to help young people as well as anyone else who needed somewhere to meet, get help etc. We basically volunteered along with other members, to ensure the doors stayed open,” said Ann.

Ann said she never really put too much thought into why she volunteered, it was just what needed to be done to get things happening in the community, and the tasks required just morphed from one thing into another. Some of the highlights during their time volunteering have included securing grants to establish computer classes, emergency help and assistance to those in need (which turned out to be a project much bigger than originally envisaged!). The establishment of Morris House as a place anyone could go to for help, even for small things such as printing etc, as well as the enjoyment of being involved in successfully running William Landsborough Day for the community in the early 1990’s.

Ann said that along with Ken, they both loved working with the amazing volunteers that have been involved over the years with Morris House, and also the feeling of satisfaction gained from being able to help people who are in really desperate situations. “I would encourage people to volunteer at Morris House because we always need more people to help, and the satisfaction you get when you have helped people when they are truly in need whether it is because of homelessness, assistance with food, blankets or other necessities, or referrals to other services to help them out makes you feel good that you have done the best you can for others,” said Ann.

If you’d like to get involved with Morris House call 5494 1255 or visit www.facebook.com/morrishouselandsborough

Ken and Ann Husband.