The Southern Highlands farewelled a well-known member of the community who dedicated much of her life to serving others.
Iris Philomena Clout passed away on November 13 at the age of 91 and was remembered fondly at St Paul’s Parish Catholic Church in Moss Vale on November 19.
Family and friends travelled from across Australia to attend the service, filling the church as they celebrated a life filled with generosity and care through her work with the Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul Society, Meals on Wheels and the Catholic Women’s League.
Daughter Nola Lucre said her mother was always looking for ways to engage with people who needed help.
“Mum was a very positive person and so much of her value system was to think of others who were more difficult situation than herself,” Ms Lucre said.
Iris was born on July 1, 1927 in Galong before she moved with her family to Moss Vale in 1937, where she would spend the rest of her life. In her youth, Iris was an active member of the Moss Vale Blue Gum Girls who would work alongside the Red Cross in WW2 to provide hot meals and cups of tea to soldiers on troop trains travelling south.
Iris became a member of the Red Cross in 1960 and served in several committee positions throughout her years of service including assistant secretary, secretary and treasurer before she was elected president, serving in the position for eight years.
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Upon her retirement in 2005, Iris was named patron of the Moss Vale/Berrima branch to honour her years of dedicated service.
In 2013, Iris was awarded the Red Cross Laurel Wreath Distinguished Service Medal to further recognise her devotion to the Southern Highlands community.
Iris’ community service extended also to years spent working with Meals on Wheels and the Catholic Women’s League, providing practical support and care to many.
Her contributions to the St Vincent de Paul Society were invaluable; in addition to significantly contributing to the establishment and maintenance of the local Vinnies shop, Iris worked for many years as a budget counsellor, providing countless individuals and families support and advice during periods of financial distress.
In a moving eulogy, Iris’ children spoke about their mother as a strong woman who lived her life with generosity, kindness and patience, a caring and capable community worker.
“Mum had a wicked sense of humour and the strongest thing is that we see so much of her legacy in our daughters,” Ms Lucre said.
“She was warm and open and that is how she will be remembered.”
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