The first president of the Ladies Auxiliary of Bensley Bermuda Volunteer Rescue Squad was honored at a recent dinner. Margaret Miller, of Chesterfield, 74, served as the first president of the organization when it was organized Nov. 2, 1967. Still an active member she is also considered a life member. “We put a lot of hard work in the squad.” she said. “Our whole life was the squad. I think I worked harder with my volunteer work than in my regular job.”
Miller’s husband, Mack Miller, helped organize the all-volunteer fire and rescue squad and twice served as president and chaplain until his death after 25 years of marriage. Miller was 16 when they married. They had four children: Montina, Mitchell, Melody and Maria. Miller is also the proud grandmother of seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
With only a ninth grade education, Miller entered the work force when her husband became ill. She drove a school bus for a private school then went to work for Richmond Waste Water. “She would come home covered in sludge,” said her daughter Montina. “But she never gave up.” One of her supervisors left the plant and went to work for Philip Morris Park 500 and hired her because she was a hard worker. She worked there until she retired with a Class 4 degree. Miller would always say, “My brain can’t take me any farther.”
Along with being an active member of the auxiliary, Miller is also a member of the squad, riding on emergency calls. She is also a volunteer for the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Christmas Mother Program. During her free time you can find her playing cards or bowling.
“We are just so proud of her and want the world to know,” said Montina. “That’s our momma.”
The auxiliary serves as the business side of the squad. They have raised over a half million dollars over the years for the squad from various fundraisers. Jean Powell, president of the auxiliary, said they are getting ready for their next fund-raiser which is their Picture Project. Volunteers will be going door to door asking for donations to support the rescue squad and giving out opportunities for a family portrait to be taken at the squad’s headquarters located on Jefferson Davis Highway. Other fundraiser activities include Easter egg sales, Brunswick Stew sales and cookbook sales.
The auxiliary is hoping to be able to raise funds to help remodel the kitchen aT the squad’s headquarters. For more information or volunteer opportunities contact Jean Powell at 275-2292.