Home' The Southern Cross : April 2016 Contents Page 10 April 2016
Southern Cross | living catholic
By Lindy McNamara
The Southern Cross continues its Living Catholic page which features articles and photographs highlighting the many good works that often go unnoticed
but make a big difference to people’s lives and to the community in general. Parishes are invited to submit suggestions for stories that demonstrate in
a practical sense Living Catholic. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you ask most people, they will describe
the regular trip to the supermarket as a
chore and one they would prefer not to
do. But for 86-year-old Brian Anderson,
the chance to hit the shops and hunt for a
bargain has become a passion later in life.
Whether it’s a box of chocolates marked
down to clear, a packet of biscuits on sale
or surplus Easter eggs, Brian knows where
to find the best deals in Adelaide.
He reads the junk mail from cover to cover
to work out his weekly ‘plan of attack’,
which can see him visiting more than 35
shops and supermarkets and collecting up
to 60 shopping dockets.
And the reason for the obsession is not to
cut down on his own living expenses, but
to “provide a bit of sunshine” to the lives
of residents at Southern Cross Care’s aged
care facilities at North Plympton.
For the past 22 years Brian has
volunteered his time at the Bucklands
kiosk, buying stock at discounted
prices and sourcing more unusual items
requested by residents.
“I had one lady who wanted some Bovril
and that was a bit hard to find because
none of the young ones in the supermarket
knew what it was. Another woman asked
me to get her some sweet pea seeds, so
she could plant them on St Patrick’s Day,”
Brian estimates he spends up to 40
hours a week volunteering at the kiosk
and visiting various supermarkets around
town to buy supplies – including trips to
the Central Market to buy discounted fruit
and vegetables at the end of the day. He
doesn’t drive any more so relies on fellow
volunteer Jim Gluyas to get him around,
and if he’s not available Brian catches the
bus and somehow manages to lug the
shopping bags back under each arm.
Brian’s dedication and service to the
residents at Bucklands and The Pines on
Marion Road was honoured when he was
presented an Archbishop’s Award earlier
this year. That award also reflected his
service to the Edwardstown parish, which
began when he joined the counting team
at age 13 and continues to this day. His
background in finance – which included
41 years at the Taxation Office – also saw
him serving on the finance committee,
as treasurer of the building fund and the
pastoral council, to name a few.
After he retired from paid work he spent a
couple of decades – or more than 20,000
hours – volunteering at the Archdiocese’s
Church Office, assisting with financial
Now he is content to focus his business
savvy on the successful running of the
kiosk. He ensures that all items sold are
below normal cost in the supermarkets and
there is very little mark-up. Even so, with
Brian’s ability to bag a bargain the kiosk
has managed to raise more than $350,000
in profits over the years – with this money
going towards improving amenities
and buying medical equipment for the
According to Brian, the successful
operation of the kiosk since 1981 has only
been possible due to the valued assistance
of many volunteers over the years. They
currently include Jim Gluyas, Lorraine
O’Malley, Marcia Sandland, Sandra Bartel,
Ellen Keuger, Peter Murphy, Trevor Shaw
and Ron Bayley.
However, there is no doubt that Brian’s
driving force has provided a guiding
light along the way. In supporting his
nomination for the Archbishop’s Award,
volunteer Debbie Wing summed up his
“While there are more than 100 volunteers
who help with the day to day running of the
two facilities at North Plympton, catering
for more than 300 residents, in the view of
staff, residents and fellow volunteers, one
stands out – Brian Anderson.
“Brian is a very special, caring, one-of-
a-kind person who just keeps giving and
wants nothing in return. He has told us
on many occasions that his reward is the
smile of our residents’ faces,” she wrote.
And when it comes to Brian’s work, there
are smiles all round.
If it hadn’t been for a change in nomination
procedures, Eva Cooper from the Brooklyn
Park/Richmond Parish may not have
received an Archbishop’s Award last year.
Not because she wasn’t deserving – quite
In fact, members of her parish had wanted
to nominate her for an award for some time
but Eva, in her usual humble way, always
thought there were others who should be
acknowledged before her.
However, with the removal of the need for
her to sign the nomination form, it meant
that the Archbishop could finally honour
and thank Eva for the 60 years of service
she has given to the local parish and St
John Bosco School.
Eva, 85, says the many years of service to
the St John Bosco Church and school have
been a “pleasure” and adds that members
of the parish are “absolutely marvellous”
“I’m often out the front handing out
information and welcoming them to Mass
and they just come over and give me a
hug,” she laughs.
They are undoubtedly grateful for the
work and time she devotes to the church,
which includes being the current co-chair
(together with John Mahoney) of the parish
Eva has been involved with the Catholic
Women’s League for many years and is
a former State president and now a life
member of the organisation. She has
served on several ecumenical groups and
is the church’s current representative for
the West Adelaide Cooperating Churches,
attending committee meetings and helping
to organise community events such as the
“Back to Bethlehem” family day. She was
also a part of the Fellowship of the Least
Coin, a global ecumenical movement of
prayer for peace, justice and reconciliation
and is active in the World Day of Prayer.
When it comes to organising catering for
events at the church, Eva is the “go-to”
person. She is well known for her delicious
cakes and biscuits and on the first Sunday
of every month leads a group of volunteers
in preparing a morning tea for parishioners.
“Yes, I’ve been asked for the odd recipe
over the years but I’m not a great cook,
just a fairly good cook,” she quips.
Her cooking skills were also on show for 20
years as she volunteered one day a week
at the Adelaide Day Centre for homeless
“I used to cook the lunchtime meal, mend
clothes and did odds and ends as they
needed. I really enjoyed working there and
chatting with the men.”
Not that all her service has been
undertaken alone, as her late husband Jeff
was also a willing volunteer. In a wonderful
gesture of their faith, they established
the “giving tree” at St John Bosco and
collected and transported the donated toys
to charitable organisations. The dynamic
duo was also the “anchor” in coordinating
the volunteer counting teams, a role which
Eva continues today.
Outside of the church, they were involved
with Neighbourhood Watch, each taking
on the role of area coordinator at various
When reflecting on 60 years of service, Eva
is unfazed. In her modest way she says it’s
“given me something to do” and adds she
has always been willing to help where she
HAPPY TO SERVE: Brian Anderson assists a customer at the Bucklands kiosk.
60 years of helping
THANKED: Fr Philip Marshall VG presents Eva with her well-deserved award.
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