Frances Petley-Jones humbly accepts applause with a smile for her recognition of 35 years volunteering with Oak Bay Volunteer Services during the annual general meeting Thursday (May 30)

Frances Petley-Jones humbly accepts applause with a smile for her recognition of 35 years volunteering with Oak Bay Volunteer Services during the annual general meeting Thursday (May 30)

Longtime volunteer pinned for ceremony

At 89 Frances Petley-Jones of Oak Bay still looks forward to retirement

At 89 Frances Petley-Jones still looks forward to retirement.

She says this with a hearty laugh that belies her seniority in the Oak Bay Volunteer Services.

Petley-Jones is the longest-serving volunteer, with 35 years under her belt, recognized by the society in a ceremony Thursday.

“My mother volunteered all her life, and I thought when she died I better do something to carry on the tradition,” Petley-Jones said after the event.

Her work was infectious, pulling husband Stan into making visits alongside her for about 15 years. Both loved to hear the stories of new clients.

“You meet wonderful people from all walks of life,” the widow said. “We were a great team. I’m glad he’s still remembered on the wall of fame.”

Stan died in 2011 at the age of 100 after the two shared 65 years of marriage.

“I still miss him,” she said, her smile only slightly faltering.

Petley-Jones has also worked more than five decades with St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

She was honoured by Mayor Nils Jensen, who also handed out pins to the large group of volunteers celebrating five to 15 years of offering their time to the community.

“You knit our community together, you’re the glue that keeps our community,” Jensen said.

“It takes a lot of effort … tireless and countless hours of work. So congratulations and thank you very much to all of you up here too,” Jensen added, addressing the board.