Not long after Cobargo’s May Blacka was awarded an OAM, she raised $1655 through the sale of cakes and flowers to present to BlazeAid for the work they have done for her region.
Earlier this year, Ms Blacka was recognised for her service to Cobargo with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), presented in the 2021 Australia Day Honours.
Then in February, she baked 18 cream and fruit pies every Friday and sold them as well as countless bunches of flowers to fundraise for the volunteer-based organisation, which helps to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed in natural disasters.
“It’s alright for an old duck nearing 90!” she says. “I think if everybody was doing something for things such as BlazeAid they wouldn’t be stuck in nursing homes.”
May says she chose to fundraise for BlazeAid specifically because “they are doing a heck of a good job” in the Cobargo region, which was severely impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.
For the past 15 years, she has fundraised for various causes, from CareFlight to the Cobargo Folk Festival, as well as helping those impacted by floods in Queensland and Victoria.
“During the music festival when people would walk past my place to Cobargo Showground they’d always buy a pie,” she says.
But this is the last year she will be fundraising, as May says she has reached an age where she thinks she is “too old to be doing it anymore”.
“But I’ll still sell flowers over the fence and yarn to people when they come along,” she says.
BlazeAid Cobargo thanked May for the “incredible” donation on its Facebook page.
“We will use the funds to purchase materials to continue our fence rebuilding efforts for fire-affected community members,” it posted.
“I hope everyone got a pie when they could because May dropped the bombshell news that she is retiring!
“She reckons at nearly 90 she has earnt it, and so do we.
“We are honoured to have been her last beneficiary. Thanks, May, you are truly a local legend.”