Above: In 2011 Margaret Saker was Quota Narooma Volunteer of the Year
It is with great sadness we report the death of Margaret Saker OAM. She died peacefully on 18 June 2020 aged 86 years. A long-time resident of Narooma, Margaret had moved to Benalla, Victoria in 2017 to be near her family.
Margaret will be remembered fondly for all her contributions to Narooma and for her genuine concern for those around her, especially when they needed a boost. People loved her sense of fun, her hospitality, and her ability to put people at ease.
Margaret was raised in Leeton NSW, where her family owned a citrus orchard. She trained as a nurse in Sydney and later married Bob Saker, a policeman. They moved to Melbourne, where she had a range of jobs — the last one involved helping street kids. When Bob retired, they moved to Narooma — a much-loved vacation spot that Margaret had visited since she was a child.
In June 1988, not long after moving to Narooma, Margaret joined the Quota Club. She once said: “The thing that Quota was really good at was caring about each other.’ No one worked harder than she did when it came to raising funds or helping others. She was always up for bit of fun, too, whether it was dressing up as Lady Gaga or a Roaring 20s flapper.
Over time she held every position on the Quota board, chaired many committees, and was public officer for years. She was president of the Quota Club in 1998-99 and served three terms as the 35th District Secretary Treasurer. She was honoured as Quota’s Volunteer of the Year in 2011.
Margaret was renowned as the quiz master for Quota’s trivia nights where her trademark cricket questions were eagerly anticipated. She characterised herself as a “cricket tragic”, having married into and raising a family of cricket players, supporters, and coaches. It was not unusual to see Margaret manning a charity street stall and listening to the cricket commentary through her radio earphones at the same time.
Many people knew Margaret through her work with Meals on Wheels, or Telecross, a Red Cross program where volunteers phoned those who needed contact daily.
She was vice-president and committee member of the Community Health Auxiliary for 10 years, a former fundraiser and volunteer at Illawarra Retirement Trust and former treasurer of the Narooma Liberal Party branch.
She helped create the Narooma Australia Day ceremony in 1999 and continued to coordinate the event until 2013. In 2004 she was recognised as Narooma’s Citizen of the Year and honoured again in 2012 with an Australia Day Achievement Award from the Eurobodalla Shire Council. In 2018 she was recognised on the Australia Day Honours List with an Order of Australia Medal.
Margaret touched the lives of so many people. We will remember her lovely smile, her cheeky laugh, and the way she could lift you up and make the world seem brighter.
by Susan Pryke, Quota International of Narooma.