The youngest of eight children, and with six of her own, Patricia Blashki understood the meaning of community.
When her children started school, Patricia volunteered in the canteen and the school Mothers’ Club. Pat and her husband Albert, who was acknowledged as a Living Treasure in 2000, had a long history of community service.
Pat and Albert joined the Springvale Benevolent Society over 20 years ago, when Albert was Mayor and Pat was Mayoress. Pat was warm and accepting and had the perfect nature for home visiting which she conducted as part of her duties.
When visiting a home Pat would simply ask how she can help. Pat didn’t ask what their problem is and would frequently offer them a cuddle when leaving, believing a lot of these people have had a very lonely life. She also saw a lot of people who have poor life skills, so there was a great need to teach people how to cook and budget and manage their money. Pat put this down to the changing nature of family life and the loss of home economics teaching in the schools.
Pat counted donations for the Royal Children’s Hospital Easter fundraiser for fifty years, she had organised the World Day of Prayer in Springvale for thirty-five years and been on the committee of the Veteran Car Club for thirteen years.
Pat was also on the Board of Management of the Springvale District Community Hospital for seventeen years before it closed in 1988. She helped look after her vision impaired sister for twenty-five years and, through this contact with the Association for the Blind (Vision Australia) had been a volunteer driver and craft teacher for thirty-one years.
Pat was awarded a 2003 Centenary Medal and an Order of Australia Medal in 1995. Pat’s compassion and deep interest in people guided all her community efforts, although she was modest about her efforts. She believed a volunteer is very fortunate because they choose what they do and are consequently more happy.