Queen's medal for community service
by Anne-Marie Hunt
FOR MORE than 40 years Phil Lash has been kept busy looking after the health and welfare of her fellow citizens, a service which last weekend placed her in the Queens Honours list with a Queen's Service medal for services to the community.
"When you take on social work you don't expect rewards but when they come they are a lovely feeling," she says.
She arrived in Foxton newly married 42 years ago and shortly after took up a temporary position as sister at the local maternity home. She remained there off and on for 33 years, leaving only when made redundant by the closure of the home in 1982.
However, Sister Lash says the thing which gave her most personal satisfaction was setting up an ante-natal clinic voluntarily in 1960 with the help of the Plunket Society. In the 1970s it became fashionable and support from the hospital board was more forthcoming.
Phil is also very proud to be one of the few pakeha people to be made a life member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League.She has belonged to this organization for more than 20 years.
In recent years Sister Lash has achieved several honours, including Foxton’s Citizen of the Year award in 1988 and was judged Manawatu's most caring person in 1987.
Her primary interest is health of course. “Ánything I can do for physical health and any kind of health, I’ll be there.”
Currently she is a member of the Foxton Community Watch Committee, and she also helps with Birthright and Befrienders.ers.
I have always been interested in people and committees which help other people.
While Mrs Lash feels honoured to be getting a QSM she feels she is being rewarded also by the community. Her husband, Joe, has incurable cancer and "the help I am getting is just amazing.”
She says she hasn't helped others in the expectation of getting help in return, but this is just what is happening.
During Sister Phyl Lash's many years of nursing at the Foxton Maternity Home, her family all worked together, plus the hospital co-operated by making Phyl's shifts and duties fit into the family's needs.
MEDAL recipient Phil Lash.