It is with great sadness that Volunteer Service Abroad has heard about the passing of one of its most outstanding supporters, Neil Bellingham. Neil, pictured here with Sir Edmund Hillary, was a volunteer in Thailand for nearly three years (1964-66) and in the 1970’s was VSA’s Programme Manager in Zimbabwe, where his wife Juliet accompanied him and also volunteered for VSA as a teacher.

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Sir Edmund Hillary& Neil Bellingham - 1966

Back in New Zealand Neil continued to support VSA, in the Wellington Branch, and on the VSA Council as well as helping with selection panels and advice for new volunteers. He was also a regular donor to VSA, and his extensive contribution was recognised when he was made a Life Member of VSA.

The contribution of the Bellinghams to VSA has continued in recent years, with Neil’s nephew Peter and his wife Anne recently returned from PNG Bougainville, where they volunteered at the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation.

Neil’s funeral was last Monday in Hamilton and our President, Dr Simon Mark, represented VSA in recognition of Neil’s extraordinary years of service.