A special party was recently at the Planters restaurant in Waringstown to mark the retirement of Rita McCoy, the Oxfam shop manager in Lurgan.
Originally from Malawi, Rita came to Lurgan with her late husband who was from Northern Ireland. Rita then started with Oxfam in 1997 as a shop volunteer in Lurgan, before going on to manage the store.
Oxfam Ireland’s District Retail Manager Mark Kinneen said: “We wanted to pay tribute to all the service that Rita has given to Oxfam over the years, so we decided to throw a party as a ‘thank you’.
“Rita has played a vital role in cementing Oxfam’s place at the heart of the community in Lurgan. As a popular and familiar face, Rita is well-known in the town, with people often inspired to stop her in the street to tell her that they will donate.
“We wish Rita a long and happy retirement, which is well deserved after many years’ service dedicated to raising money to help those in need and crisis around the globe.
“Rita’s retirement will now give her more time to spend with her family in Northern Ireland. The silver lining is that Rita will still be active with Oxfam and will continue to volunteer in the Lurgan shop one or two days a week.”
Rita was presented with an engraved Belleek lamp and a bouquet of flowers to thank her for two decades of hard work and commitment.
Rita was very humbled by the recognition and retirement dinner, modestly thanking those who had supported her and Oxfam: “I have always been impressed by the generosity of the Lurgan community and always felt that they supported me and the shop.”
Rita also thanked all the shop’s volunteers, past and present, and enjoyed how her retirement dinner offered them an opportunity to socialise “as they often volunteer on different days and don’t always get the chance to meet up together”.
Mark Kinneen echoed those sentiments and would like to thank all those readers who supported Rita and Oxfam in Lurgan.
He said: “The community’s continued support – by shopping or donating to the store – will help new shop manager Bridie Hughes to continue Rita and Oxfam’s work of helping those in poverty around the world.”
Oxfam’s Lurgan store is looking for additional enthusiastic people eager to volunteer in the shop.
If you feel you can help, please contact Bridie on 028 3834 9560.