You would have seen Bev Way at sporting and community events in Whanganui and beyond. She's the one with others of the ambulance crew, making sure everyone is safe, but ready in case of injury or illness.
"I'm just a country girl who minds my own business," says the retired nurse.
She was raised at Parikino on the Whanganui River and went to school at Wanganui Technical College, now City College in Ingestre St.
She trained at Hawera Hospital but after 10 years moved back to Whanganui and was a fixture in the nursing team for the next four decades. She retired from paid nursing in January, 2010, after 51 years.
Her family owned a farm at Parikino and she said if she had not chosen to be a nurse, she would have been a land girl.
"After Hawera, I jumped ship and did my Plunket up in Auckland, then I came to Whanganui; I jumped ship and did my Advanced Nursing Diploma in Wellington. Then I came back to Whanganui. I did my nursing degree at Palmerston North UCOL."
Somehow, Bev got involved with St John.
"I was minding my own business, being a nurse, and someone said, Please come to Wanganui East — we had a division here — and I could do the nursing. I used to do the nursing for the youth over here (in Whanganui East) and then we went to St Hill St." From there St John moved operations to their present premises in Tawa St, Gonville.
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Over the years Bev has accumulated pages of St John recognitions — "I've got a few bells and whistles," she says. Her service medal and bars, including gold bars, would take up most of her uniform, then there are all the added extras like Member of the Order of St John (1999); Serving Sister (1999); Events Officer, Central Region (from June 30, 1980); Assistant Divisional Youth Manager for the Central Region (1990-2009); Order Member, Regional Office, Palmerston North Central Region (1999); Divisional Youth Manager in Whanganui for the Central Region (from 2009).
All of the above were accrued while still working as a nurse as well as looking after elderly parents.
Her list of qualifications and the courses she has undergone would fill this page.
And she is still busy.
"On a Monday I volunteer at St John Op Shop; on a Friday I volunteer at St John Office for Area Committee; I do events — I did the Wanganui Races the other day; at St James's I'm leader of the pack for Steady as You Go (a fitness class)."
Bev also loves gardening and belongs to the local gardening club which meets monthly at Dempsey and Forrest. Plus, Bev loves to travel.
"I run away with the Take It Easy boys [Take It Easy Tours, run by Jason Granville and Jimmy Elliott] and I've been all over New Zealand. I've still got a lot more to see, but I like the wild west and the deep south." She says you couldn't wish for better tour operators.
She's been to Australia several times.
On the morning of our chat Bev had been socialising with a group of retired wound care nurses at the Yellow House Cafe, and she loves catching up with family and friends. Christmas will be spent with family at the farm at Parikino.
"They are very good to me: I'm very lucky."
Her luck extends to her ability to lead a full and fruitful life and still have the energy and ability to do the things she wants to do and which the community still expects of her. Clambering in and out of an ambulance? No problem.
"I am one of the lucky ones."
She puts it down to her country upbringing and her need to be there to help.