Cathedral volunteer retires after 34 years

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Nelson Cathedral bid farewell to one of their much loved volunteers on Sunday, who is retiring after 34 years of service.

Carol Hurd has been a helping hand at the cathedral since 1981, after she moved to Nelson from Dunedin with her husband Michael, who was to be the dean of the cathedral. Sadly, Michael passed away whilst young, leaving Carol a young widow with a young family.

Carol stayed on in Nelson and has been a valued volunteer at the cathedral ever since. “I guess I naturally fell into it,” she says. “I love the building, and have spent the last 15-20 years looking after it and keeping it up to scratch.”

Each day at 8am she opens up the building, and then later on, she drives down and locks up the building for the night.

Over the years, Carol has arranged the annual Festival of Christmas Trees, helped with the annual Family Fun Night, managed the bookstall and its resources, and helped to set up the cathedral for services on Sunday.

Debbie Williams, administrator at the cathedral, says that Carol is the one who “keeps things ticking along,” and will be very hard to replace.

“Carol’s a whirlwind,” she says. “She’s the one who makes sure there are supplies for the morning teas after the services, and makes sure our kitchen is clean and tidy. She keeps the candles topped up and makes sure that there is paper for people to leave their memories for loved ones. “Whenever there is a funeral here, Carol is often the one making the tea. And if there’s a concert or event here in the evening, Carol is often the one who will stay on late, making sure the building is tidy before locking up.”

If that wasn’t enough, Carol is also a member of the Anglican Association of Women and still finds time to volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Carol has just celebrated her 70th birthday, and will be returning to Dunedin to be closer to her family. “I’ll miss my friends, and the music. I’ll miss the whole place,” she says.

Debbie says that Carol will be “leaving a large hole” at the cathedral. “Carol is a wonderful example of committed volunteer, supporting both the community and her cathedral.”