Richmond woman, 90, honoured by Canadian Blood Services

When she’s not volunteering for Canadian Blood Services, she’s giving her time to at least four other worthy causes or organizations.

And when she’s not doing that, 90-year-old Richmondite Nina Graham is working out at the gym, although it’s unlikely to be with anyone older than 70.

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“I tend to workout with younger people, I get pushed more than I would do with older people,” a sprightly Graham told the Richmond News.

Graham is not long back from Ottawa, where she was one a small collection of special guests being honoured by Canadian Blood Services (CBS) for her length of volunteer service, almost 30 years as it happens.

“(Volunteering for them) was one of the first things I did when I retired,” she said from her Richmond condo, near the city centre.

“I wasn’t allowed to donate blood as I had an illness when I was younger. But they suggested I volunteer, so that’s what I did.”

And the first clinic CBS hosted after Graham volunteered was at her old place of work, the Workers Compensation Board, now known as WorksafeBC.

But it didn’t go too well.

“The first person I had to take care was my old boss. It wasn’t good. I made a mess of the Band-Aid part. I’m not sure what he was thinking,” said Graham.

As well as her sterling work with CBS, Graham volunteers four other days of the week, including at the YMCA in Downtown Vancouver, where she instructs an aerobics class, helping newcomers as a YVR greencoat and, more recently, acting as a presiding officer for the swearing-in ceremony for new Canadians.

“The people are so happy and excited and I thrive on their energy,” she said of the presiding.

“I think remaining active is one of the most important things you can do.”

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