At 92 Iris King would be forgiven for putting her feet up, but despite her age the Peel lady spends her weekends volunteering.
Mrs King, of Ballaquane Road, Peel, has worked on the MSPCA reception for the past 13 years. Only being hospitalised has stopped her doing the much-loved role.
Due to her hard work and commitment she has been nominated for volunteer of the year in the Isle of Man Newspapers Flybe Pride in Mann awards.
Her reaction after being told the news was: ‘That is nice, isn’t it very kind. I do a lot of charity work and have done for many years. I am their longest volunteer there. It is nice to be appreciated when do you care. I will continue there as long as I can.’
Michael Fenrir, of Douglas Street, Peel, nominated Mrs King because ‘she has also organised and personally raised tens of thousands of pounds for all the rescue animals’.
The great-grandmother’s caring nature shows as she talks affectionately of her six-year-old cat Tiggy, the third cat Mrs King has had from the MSPCA.
‘I always said I wouldn’t have another cat,’ she said. ‘It was pouring down with rain and I decided to have a look at them and within five minutes she was in the back of my car on the way home. She is so lovely.’
The former stock broker moved to the island with her husband Leonard 35 years ago. She fell in love with the island and, although she has travelled quite extensively, she thinks the island is one of the best places in the world.
‘The people in the island are just simply wonderful, especially in Peel.’ she said.
Mrs King started volunteering after the death of her husband – but after a tough first day at the MSPCA Iris thought the job wasn’t for her. She said: ‘It was emotional and upsetting and I thought: “I can’t do this job”. I looked in the box and saw these kittens, they were all fluffy and beautiful. I’ve been there ever since.’
Although Mrs King has many happy memories of her 13 years, she said that there were sad times. ‘There is not only a lot of happiness with people, but there is a lot of sadness when people have lost an animal and I feel their pain,’ she revealed.
At the age of 10, Iris was given three days to live when she suffered from rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart, but she overcame the health problems.
So what is her secret to a long and happy life?
‘I’ve got the time and an active brain, and need to be doing something,’ she said.
‘I’m a firm believer in keeping your body active. A lot of problems are caused when people retire and do nothing.’
Nominations for this year’s Pride in Mann awards have now closed.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
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