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Former preschool worker, volunteer Margret Bell awarded OAM for service to Camden

Adieu: Macarthur Preschool's Margret Bell - with Thomas Hazleton, Kensie Jeansch, Grace Edgerton and Archer Linden - recently retired after 35 years. Picture: Simon Bennett
Adieu: Macarthur Preschool's Margret Bell - with Thomas Hazleton, Kensie Jeansch, Grace Edgerton and Archer Linden - recently retired after 35 years. Picture: Simon Bennett

Camden South's Margret Bell has given her all to the Camden community - and now she is being rewarded for her efforts.

Mrs Bell was named a 2022 recipient of an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her service to the community.

The passionate local has served on the Falcons Soccer Club, Camden RSL Sub-Branch and has helped to organise Camden's ANZAC Day parade.

She said she was humbled to receive an Australia Day honour.

"You cannot imagine my surprise to receive the proposal - I must admit that I had to Google just to validate the email," Mrs Bell said.

"Then for the Secretary of the Governer General confirm that it was accepted I was overwhelmed."

Mrs Bell said she "had no idea" who nominated her for the prestigious award but she was proud to support her local community groups.

"Being an only child I have always needed to approach people from a young age to make friends," she said.

"So my family unit was quite small but having my own children encouraged me to join them into the local preschool and sports.

"This all being run by volunteers was just the opportunity for us to integrate into the community and use my skills whilst being a parent."

Mrs Bell said she had many fond memories throughout her time as a volunteer.

"There have been lifetime friendships made with families, their children and now their own grandchildren," she said.

"Seeing them grow up and also participate in the local area gives me great pleasure. It has extended my own family in a way that I could never have imagined when I first came to Australia from Germany.

"I have met families from many cultures and loved seeing them adjust to life in Camden and integrate into our community."

The former preschool teacher encouraged people to give volunteering a go.

"Volunteering is one of the many resources we can all offer with our different skills and experiences learned throughout our life," she said.

"I have encouraged many over the years to join in who had not volunteered before and then found it so rewarding.

"Volunteering and working in the local preschool has given me the most rewarding times of my life. I have loved every day being involved in Camden's many events and the lifetime friendships made along the way."

Mrs Bell retired from her job at Macarthur Preschool in 2019 after 35 years.

She told the Advertiser at the time that saying goodbye to the children was the hardest part.

"I think it's the friendships I'll miss the most," Mrs Bell said.

"This has become a second home for me. Working eight hours a day, you can spend more time with your colleagues than your family.

"I'll probably pop my head in and bring some morning tea around even after I'm gone."

This story Former preschool worker, volunteer awarded OAM for service to Camden first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.