Kempsey is in mourning for one of its favourite daughters, but the generous heart of Pam Guyer OAM will live on through the legacy she has left behind.
Mrs Guyer, who was born and lived all her life in Kempsey, gave the Macleay community everything she had and more over the 76 years she resided in the region.
Mrs Guyer, wife of Robert and mother of Janelle, Louise and Derryk, spent more than half a century volunteering her time for the Macleay Valley Netball Association, Kempsey Swimming Club and the Kempsey Eisteddfod.
“She enjoyed giving everything she could, genuinely loved being around people and doing her best to help them,” Janelle said.
“She would do everything at the best of her ability and expect the same from everyone else.”
Her list of achievements within the organisations are endless and she became a life member of all three.
In 2000 she received the Australian Sports Medal for her service to the administration of netball and later she was awarded the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The netball courts were named the Pam Guyer Netball Centre in her honour in 2010 for her service over the decades.
Mrs Guyer volunteered her time for 19 years to the Kempsey Fire Brigade and 18 years to the Meals on Wheels.
The loss of Mrs Guyer was felt by everyone within the Macleay as she touched the lives of thousands of people.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Mrs Guyer taught half of Kempsey how to swim, passed on vital information to the best netball players and helped produce the best out of the talented participants at the Kempsey Eisteddfod.
“She helped so many people learn how to swim over the years, three generations in some families, coached netball sides and kept the eisteddfod afloat,” Louise said.
“She was always teaching or lending a hand in some way, the number of people she helped would easily be in the thousands.”
Mrs Guyer’s passion for sport began while she attended Kempsey High School and continued throughout her life.
When she could no longer play, she began coaching and took on the role as president of the Macleay Valley Netball Association in 1959. She held onto the volunteer job until 2007 before taking over as vice-president for the next five years.
Louise reminisced on the times her mother would take the family on Saturday mornings to mark out all the lines on the grass netball fields, sell soft drinks out the back of cars and print off the match sheets.
“The attitude she had towards sport and the organisations she was a part of needs to continue,” Louise said.
“Someone had to do it. People often forget that to sign your kids up to play a sport, there has to be people behind the scenes organising everything to make it happen and that was our mother with netball, swimming, the eisteddfod and everything she was involved in for our whole lives.
"Everything she started needs to continue. Hopefully her legacy can influence other people and encourage them to get involved and volunteer their time. People need to step up.”
Mrs Guyer was always the first to put her hand up to volunteer and she loved to work within a team.
“She was never one to sit back and let someone else do it, she would take charge and delegate jobs to people to ensure they happened,” Louise said.
“She believed if you are going to do something, you have to give it 100 per cent.”
The efforts of Mrs Guyer and her family allowed the club to survive. She also played the leading role in organising Kempsey’s first hard courts.
Mrs Guyer put her heart and soul into everything she did and she never stopped contributing to the community.
Her legacy lives on through her husband and children, who continue to volunteer their time for the benefit of others.