Maurice Marks will step down from his post two days before his 84th birthday after volunteering at the Christchurch City Mission for 18 years.
At a time most people are ready to retire, Maurice Marks embarked on a new mission.
The Christchurch City Mission volunteer will celebrate his 84th birthday on Friday, two days after his 18 years with the charity draw to a close.
‘‘I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like doing nothing ... I just can’t stop. I’ve got to have something to do or I get bored to tears,‘‘ he said.
A lot of volunteer time he spent driving for the charity, picking up goods for the food bank and dropping vegetable plants at Christchurch Men’s Prison to be grown and eventually returned.
A recent prostate cancer diagnosis meant the work tired Marks faster. It was time to step back, but the diagnosis would not shake his outlook.
‘‘Looking back on my life, I can’t find anything I’ve done that I’ve regretted doing ... [The cancer’s] just one of those silly little things you’ve got to get around. You can’t dwell on it.’’
Marks said it ‘‘blows you away’’ how people put others’ needs before their own during times of crisis, including those the City Mission helped.
‘‘It’s opened my eyes. Through the earthquake there we had a wow of a time ... they were stressful times, but we tried to make everybody happy.’’
Marks is part of a tradition of long-term volunteers at the Christchurch City Mission.
Others include Pat at the Hereford St shop, who has been involved nearly 50 years.
Marks wanted to encourage a new generation to give back to society.
‘‘I think a lot of the attitude and keeping your mind active, keeping busy, that’s the secret ... You can sit on your backside and play on computers, but you’re not getting any exercise.
‘‘You don’t have to be paid for [volunteering], do it for nothing. It’s the joy of doing these things.’’
Despite retiring for the second time, he would still help when needed at the City Mission, he said. ‘‘They can rely on me.’’ Spokespeople for Oderings,
''Through the earthquake there we had a wow of a time ... they were stressful times, but we tried to make everybody happy." Maurice Marks
Couplands and Christchurch Men’s Prison – places Marks regularly visited as a volunteer – said he would be missed.