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Fifty years of pies and good times for Margaret Purcell

May 17, 2022 BY

Pie in hand, Margaret Purcell and her legacy. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

FITTINGLY, on Mother’s Day weekend, the Anglesea FNC has honoured trail-blazing club volunteer and mother-of-three Margaret Purcell for 50-plus years of service, with the club’s canteen renamed in recognition of the 80-year-old’s continued efforts.

Mrs Purcell has been making the drive down from Belmont to Anglesea’s home games for over 50 years and, according to her family, hasn’t missed a game.

“Our mum has been assisting in the canteen for as long as I can remember, we basically lived here as kids,” Margaret’s son Bernard Purcell said.

“Over the course of her 50-year stint, I don’t think she’s ever missed a game and has always given her absolute all in any volunteering aspect that the club has put forward”.

Mrs Purcell originally came down to the Anglesea FNC when her late husband Barry transferred down to the seaside club thanks to the help of a friend.

“Mum came down to the club when one of Dad’s friends convinced him to play,” Mr Purcell recalled.

“Whilst Dad would be out on the field, Mum was running the canteen and volunteering her time.”

Soon after, Margaret’s three sons Kevin, Terry and Bernard would become Anglesea footballers themselves, giving the 80-year-old another reason to continue her amazing support to the club whilst husband Barry would run the bar.

“Mum stayed on at the canteen throughout our careers at the club and loved it so much that she ended up staying and volunteering her time on a Saturday when we left to play for Bell Park.

“Mum had made so many amazing connections at the club that she didn’t want to leave and rightfully so.”

Mrs Purcell’s family said their mother never wanted to seek any reward for her efforts, but simply wanted to positively impact others in the community and lend her time to make her friends and family happy.

“She is just a saint, always wanting to assist wherever she can.

“Still to this day, she drives elderly people to their hospital appointments, assists in school and outreach food programs and obviously does her part in the Anglesea Football Netball Club canteen.

“To have her name up at the club is just an amazing touch and something that our whole family is proud of.

“The bar is named after our late father Barry Purcell and now our mother is given this beautiful token for her efforts.”

Standing in front of the canteen plaque at the presentation, Mrs Purcell couldn’t thank the club enough for all the friendships and great times that it had provided her with.

“I’m so overwhelmed by the beautiful gesture that the club has done today. I absolutely love this club and all the amazing friends that I have made over my 50 years of being here.”

She was joined by members of the family at the presentation, with the 80-year-old holding back tears as she spoke of her heartfelt gratitude.

Margaret Purcell surrounded by family at the plaque presentation. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

“To have my family here today who have travelled from across Victoria is something that I will hold very dear to my heart for a long time to come,” Mrs Purcell said.

She aims to continue working in the canteen for many years to come, sticking with her beloved Anglesea Football Netball Club through thick and thin.