Long, rewarding endeavour
By TAMARA KEMP
IT CAN be hard enough for parents to raise their own children.
But long-time Rockhampton residents Glenn and Corinne Nelson have hearts big enough to fit their three sons and a handful of children with intellectual disabilities from the Margery Luck home.
The 55-year-old couple have dedicated a combined 34 years to the Endeavour Foundation, helping children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
On September 25, 1975, they joined the Endeavour Foundation, originally called The Queensland Sub-Normal Children's Association.
Mrs Luck said they helped open the Margery Luck home, a residential home for intellectually disabled children.
"Both Glenn and I were looking for a job and after inquiring about the Endeavour Foundation from an ad, they wanted us to start work on the spot.
"They were desperate times and Glenn and I weren't sure if we were cut-out for the job.''
With virtually no experience the Nelson family, with their three children, Tony, Derek and Grant, became house parents to eight other children of the Margery Luck Home.
For seven years, their job was to educate, cook and clean for the children alongside other house parents who volunteered their time.
Mr Nelson volunteered his time to the children for seven years, while Mrs Nelson was paid $50 a week.
"We enjoyed working together,'' Mr Nelson said. "The children appreciated the help too.''
When their three children grew up, Mrs Nelson said they left the Margery Luck home to spend time as a family.
But eight years later, they returned to the Margery Luck home, which had turned into an adult residence.
Mrs Nelson said the family missed helping the children and missed working together. "Grant, our youngest son, would go out of his way after school to visit the children,'' she said.
"When we returned in 1991, Glenn and I helped close the Margery Luck home and started work at the McCamley House, a 13-bedroom adult residential home in North Rockhampton.''
For the past 15 years, Glenn and Corrine Nelson have dedicated their time to the Endeavour Foundation helping adults with intellectual disabilities.
"You never forget the children and they never forget you,'' Mrs Nelson said.
"We are still looking after about six of them in the adult residence and you can definitely see their lifestyle improvements.