News ยป A Tribute to Margie Englebach

A Tribute to Margie Englebach

Released 2/05/2012

Margaret Engelbach , Margie to all, served RDA for many years.  She volunteered at Raymond Terrace and Lower Hunter since 2002 having volunteered at Throsby Park for many years prior to coming to Raymond Terrace.

Margie died unexpectedly in April having already signed up her 2012 volunteer form to assist as Program Coordinator for the Hippotherapy Program.

Having a background of Occupational Therapy and growing up in the country Margie was passionate about RDA.  Her enthusiasm and care for the riders was evident in all the programs she was involved with.  She enjoyed strong friendships with many at Raymond Terrace as well as maintaining her links with Throsby Park RDA.  Many of us remember fondly some of the anecdotes and memories of Margie that are relayed in the following tributes written by some of her RDA friends.

“Margie’s love of RDA began seriously when Del Crosby and Margie commenced a riding program for people with disabilities at Throsby Park around the early 70’s which went onto to become Throsby Park RDA.  Margie using her Occupational Therapy skills and Del using her horse handling skills together presented a therapeutic riding program to Princess Anne when she visited the St Ives Show in the early 1970’s.

Margie always enjoyed helping out at RDA events such as the Chicken run, Dressage days and Mounted Games Competitions. She took pride in having the back numbers ready for the riders on the day and then took them home washed, ironed and repaired them ready for next event. I can see her at the table, just inside the back door, back numbers neatly stacked and the trusty thermos ready for anyone who needed a quick pick me up.” (Janelle Pearce, friend and former RDA volunteer)

“Margie has us well organised.  There are name tags for each of us in the Hippotherapy team, for visitors, for mums, dads and even grannies.  Helmet numbers are noted, lists of participants and the forms to fill out, the special reins, Sadie likes to use for the horse, and more bits and pieces of the equipment used in our sessions.   Of course she is the first of us to be at RDA and probably will be the last one to leave after having swept the floor.

You can just imagine what a passionate and efficient Occupational Therapist she must have been. ‘No, no I am not an OT anymore’, says she humbly, ‘but I do like horses, disabled and Hippotherapy’  As our time keeper during the sessions she observes closely what is going on in the arena and so helps the smooth running of the days.  Margie Engelbach was the coordinator of our Hippotherapy programme since 2003.  I know that she was also involved in a similar programme in the Southern Highlands before that.

Her love of horses and her competency around them was obvious. I respected her keen sense of social justice, especially in connection to the disabled.  We miss her. “ (Veronika Gudenus, Hippotherapist)

“One of my special moments with Margie occurred one riding day at Throsby Park.  Margie had been working with a beautiful autistic boy at the special school in Moss Vale.  In some two to three months he had not communicated in any way with anyone at the school.  We put him on a pony to ride for the first time.  As we went down the driveway – me leading the horse and Margie side-walking – the boy started to babble and pointed out the old moon in the sky and the donkeys in the paddock.  A break-through! Margie was crying and so was I – how we got to the riding arena, I’m not sure.  From then on, he continued to respond and to communicate at school, too!” (Mima Ware, Throsby Park)

Margie and her contribution to RDA will be long remembered.  She will be missed.

We extend our deepest sympathy to her family Susan and Doug, Lisa and Russell, Meagan, Ashleigh and Clayton.

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© 2014 RDA Raymond Terrace & Lower Hunter
PO Box 624 Raymond Terrace, NSW 2324
'Irrawang Park', 3219 Pacific Highway, Raymond Terrace
Phone: (02) 4987 1402
Fax: (02) 4987 1434
Email: raymondterrace@rdansw.org.au
NDIS Service Provider Number: 31971831