HAMMONDCARE chief executive Dr Stephen Judd has paid tribute to one of the leading figures in the history of Strathearn, the late Jim Clark OAM, who died last Friday aged 90.
Dr Judd said it was clear that - alongside founder Dr Walter Pye MBE – Mr Clark was one of the greatest contributors to Strathearn Village, previously known as the Upper Hunter Village Association (UHVA).
“Jim was a member of the very first board in 1972 and gave more than 45 years of dedicated service to the organisation and older people in need in the community,” Dr Judd said.
“Jim was selfless in his commitment, devotion, determination, passion and stamina.
“He went above and beyond the generally accepted ‘norms’ of voluntary community service.
“And he was never afraid to get stuck in.
“One example was when Jim personally led the team to fit curtains for the first 28 nursing home residents in Stafford Street.
“After the curtains were prepared, Jim and his team hung all the curtains one Saturday.
“Jim was one of three UHVA board members who collected rents from residents in Villa Maria, Park Street, Joan Street and Susan Street Villas, helping to keep the organisation afloat.
“In addition Jim provided an honorary service for as many as 12 severely restricted residents by doing their weekly shopping, often leaving him a few dollars short.
“But this was entirely in keeping with his approach to the community.
“All of this came before the many similar services now provided by Strathearn Village and other suppliers and was selfless devotion at its very best.
“It surprised no-one and delighted everyone when Jim Clark was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).”
Dr Judd said that in his kindness and generosity to many frail, older people, he must at times seemed like Santa Claus - which is not surprising, because this was another role Mr Clark performed annually throughout the community.
“Over his many years of service, Jim adapted to the various changes and developments of what is today Strathearn, and the construction of Strathearn
House on Gundy Road gave him enormous satisfaction,” he said.
“It was fitting that Jim Clark OAM was the special guest at the official opening of the new residential aged care home in July 2016.
“And fitting also that Jim was able to avail himself, even though briefly, of Strathearn’s care towards the very end of his long and productive life.”
Dr Judd extended his sympathy and gratitude to family and friends of Mr Clark.