Joy is the daughter of the late John Evans, founder of the Gladesville & District Community Aid Service, which is now known as Hunters Hill Ryde Community Services. She was in her 20s when her father started delivering meals to people who struggled financially. John also took people to medical appointments when they could not travel on their own.
In 1962 John realised that there were people in the community who needed support "People just didn't realise the need was there, finding support was difficult", Joy said. It took John four years to materialise his idea.
Joy said: "The first person he [John] asked to transport people was my mother-in-law. She was one of the first drivers. She drove until she couldn't do it any longer."
Joy told us how dedicated to others her father was. He used to help people anywhere and anytime. His charity work included phone counselling with 'Lifeline' as well as parish work through his ministry.
"He used to visit people at the hospital; he used to visit people in jail. He visited everywhere, wherever there were people in need, he would go and visit. He called on people. He shared everything he had; he even gave away his clothes. He gave what people needed; he was a very, very generous man", Joy proudly said.
John Evans was an exceptional man who believed in generosity and community. His idea initiated our great organisation, which now provides a wide range of community support services.
"He [John] would not have envisaged that the centre would have grown so much and have so many different services. There are so many people that need you.", Joy said.
Through her involvement with the Wesley Mission Centre, Joy Crabbe is aware of how many people in our community need support, just as her father was all those years ago.
"It's incredible how many people in need are out there, especially people who live on their own", Joy said.
The John Evans' spirit of generosity and community lives on and is embodied in the work of our staff and volunteers. We think he would approve!
The Meals on Wheels service officially commenced 31 July 1967 with a group of volunteers.