Audrey Judge has spent her lifetime in service of our returned soldiers.
So, on Thursday, the 85-year-old received a certificate of appreciation from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association for her dedicated work.
“I feel very honoured,” she says. “It’s a privilege to belong to.”
Audrey says she is not sure exactly how long she has been a member of the Nelson RSA Women’s Section.
“I don’t know how many years… yonks.”
She joined the organization after marrying her husband, who served as an ambulance office in WW2.
“He was based in the Middle East and brought back the wounded.”
She says the RSA was crucial for her husband’s reintegration.
“It was his second home.”
Audrey believes it is very important to take care of our returned servicemen and women.
“They sacrificed a lot; I admire all the men that went away.”
Her ties to the Nelson RSA date back to its inception.
“My uncle George served in the First World War and formed the Nelson RSA when he came home with about four other men.”
Audrey has also served as vice-president and a long-standing committee member.
Every year she lays a wreath at the Anzac Day Dawn service on behalf of the Women’s Section of the Nelson RSA.
She volunteers at the hospital shop, visits soldiers in retirement homes and has sold poppies for all but one year in her time with the RSA.
“This year was the first year I haven’t done them because I was too late, I missed doing it, I’ll get in earlier next year.”
She says she has always enjoyed getting out among people and hopes to continue her service.
“I will keep coming as long as I’m able.”