Rain, hail or shine, Lourdes delivers the Beacon faithfully each month, to the 190 letterboxes in her delivery round. Well, maybe not hail. But if it’s raining she’s out there with her rain poncho on, cheerfully delivering circulars to her letterboxes twice a week. She says it normally takes her about an hour, but it all depends on how many dogs she stops to pat, or neighbours she stops to talk to.
Lourdes has gotten to know many people over the fifteen years she has been walking her route; she knows who shifted, who sold and who passed away. She even knows the names of the dogs and cats, many of whom greet her for a pat or a scratch.
When she first started as a 15-year-old Lynfield College student, Lourdes’ mum Sandra helped her, and they did two rounds together. With Sandra’s health not what it used to be, they decided one was more manageable.
Lourdes came from Delhi to New Zealand as a eight-year-old, along with her mum and dad and extended Anglo-Indian family. She was a precious girl in a family which was extremely good at producing boys.
Sandra and her husband Clive were both teachers, and taught in Ethiopia and Kenya in the early years of their marriage. After nine years with no sign of children, Sandra went to Lourdes in France in hope of healing. Baby Lourdes came along two years later.
Sandra is justifiably proud of her kind, hardworking daughter, who was awarded the Girls Brigade Queens Award in 2006. Among other criteria, the award involves hours and hours of volunteer service, as well as an in-depth written assignment.
Both Sandra and Lourdes are keen knitters and for the past eight years have knitted for Middlemore’s Kidz First Childrens Hospital. Last month they knitted 136 pair of booties. Sandra says that as a teacher for many years in Otara, her heart is with the poor in South Auckland.