For 63 years local people have been helping those who suffer from leprosy.
To celebrate another year of service the Taree Auxiliary of The Leprosy Mission is having a social afternoon in the Presbyterian Hall, Albert Street, on Tuesday, November 21, commencing at 1.30pm.
The speaker will be Mrs Sally Martin from Gloucester, a former physiotherapist.
She will be accompanied by her husband, Dr Colin Martin, who is chairman of the Australian Board of The Leprosy Mission.
At the gathering auxiliary members will honour Mrs Phyll Smith, a tireless worker for the auxiliary and president for the past 13 years.
Dr Martin will present Phyll with a life member award, an honour rarely bestowed by the board.
Afternoon tea will be served, and as usual there will be a freewill offering. All welcome.
Colin and Sally Martin have just returned from London where they attended the international conference of The Leprosy Mission.
Having already served in Nepal they have real understanding.
They will bring news of exciting progress and new hope for sufferers, those people supported with aid from Australia in Nepal, Timor Leste, Nigeria, India, Thailand and Papua New Guinea.
Previously victims of this dreaded disease were excluded from home, family, work-place, society. This still happens but change is happening too.
Leprosy can now be rendered non-infectious in 48 hours and cured with multi-drug treatment. Rehabilitation can begin.
Communities can be educated and stigma can be overcome.
Although someone is diagnosed with leprosy every two minutes, lives are now being transformed and leprosy is being defeated.
This is what motivates auxiliary members and their many supporters.