TRIBUTES have been paid to a pair of volunteers who between them gave 110 years to helping others.
Friends of Reg Lowman and Hilda Kemp have spoken of the pair’s tireless dedication to the League of Friends charity at Southampton General Hospital, following their deaths within a month of each other.
Hilda was the charity’s oldest volunteer when she retired from her duties aged 100.
She originally joined the sewing group, which made pyjamas for patients and did other jobs needed at that time. She then moved to various departments before serving in the main Friends shop.
Hilda opened the Princess Anne tea bar with a colleague, and was presented with a long service award on her retirement.
Kim Sutton, voluntary services manager, said: “She always hoped she helped many people in her time here.”
A mother to four, she married Norman, who she followed to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, when he was posted there during the Second World War.
Hilda, who died on July 3, aged 102, was also well known for her many performances with the Southampton Musical Society and took to the stage a number of times at the Mayflower theatre when it was called the Gaumont.
She was good friends with Reg Lowman, who was the league’s longest serving member of nearly 60 years and was chairman of the charity for many years.
After joining in the 1950s after retiring as a line manager for British and American Tobacco, Reg started his volunteering by fundraising as a caller for bingo to pay for modesty curtains for patients.
In 1976 Reg became chairman and helped set up the fruit store and League of Friends shop in a portable building. During his time he was instrumental in raising more than £10m for the hospital.
In 1989 his hard work was recognised when he was honoured by the National Association of Leagues of Friends with an award, before receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2000.
The 84-year-old was also presented with a Diamond Volunteer Award in 2012 for his services and remained a very active member up until his illness before his death last month.