St John WA remembers treasured volunteers

Press Release

St John WA is honouring the service to humanity of three volunteers who have sadly and recently passed away.

Leonard Reginald Martin (MStJ) passed away on December 23, 2023.

His devotion to duty and his community was beyond reproach, dedicating 44 years of his life in service to St John WA.

As a volunteer Ambulance Officer Grade II, Leonard joined the Gosnells sub centre in 1979 before transferring to Mandurah in 1980, and finally to Serpentine in 1986. Leonard was an integral part of each sub centre, serving as committee member at each, chairman at Mandurah for four years, and secretary at Serpentine from 1990.

Leonard was recognised for his contribution and achievements, receiving a Commandery Commendation from the Order of St John in 1989 and his Service Medal in 1997.

In 1998 Leonard was recognised by his peers for his outstanding service to the organisation receiving St John WA’s highest honour, being invested as a Member of The Order of St John for his valuable contribution to the Order and St John WA.

Ruth Reid (AM, CIT WA) passed away on January 3.

Ruth was born in 1921 and is well known for her life-long involvement with community service, including during her time at Government House when her husband, Professor Gordon Reid AC served as WA’s 26th Governor.

Ruth was invested as Commander into the Order of St John in 1984.

She dedicated more than 50 years to volunteer work, supporting community groups and organisations including Save The Children, WA Reconciliation Advisory Group, St John Ambulance, the Blind Institute, Foster Carers’ Association, Safety Houses Association, Autism Association of WA and Camps for Kids.

Ruth was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998 and named Western Australian Citizen of the Year in 2000 for her work in community service.

In 2013, Ruth was announced the winner of the Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award presented at the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards.

John Edward Ree (KStJ) passed away on January 4.

John joined St John on the April 1, 1958 aged 17 years, and has been intensely involved in many areas of service ever since.

He was always a willing member, a true inspiration and a great example of a passionate and dedicated volunteer.

At both a local and state level, John was a cheerful, willing and hard-working effective volunteer, who undertook a variety of roles including Event Health Service Officer, Divisional and State Staff, Volunteer Ambulance Event Health Service Officer, Volunteer Ambulance Officer, Commandery Ceremonial and Museum and Heritage Centre volunteer serving at Serpentine, York, Victoria Park, Collie, Mandurah and Belmont.

John served the community every way and everywhere he could.

As a member of the State Emergency Service, he combined his first aid with rescue work.

He assisted with flood relief in Queensland and was a member of the WA contingent which assisted at the Sydney Olympics.

Throughout his life, John showed an outstanding commitment to community work, both through his chosen career as a fireman, and in many voluntary capacities.

For more than 65 years John embraced all things St John, taking on any and all tasks asked of him.

John’s service to humanity has been recognised with numerous commendations and service awards including a WA government Certificate of Recognition, admission and promotions into the Order of St John, culminating in becoming a Knight of Grace.

St John WA wishes to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Leonard, Ruth, and John, for all their years of service.

They will be missed.

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