ZEL Caddey, 89, has just raised $2000 for Alzheimer's Australia with “Zel, Mind to Hand”, an exhibition of her artwork in Newcastle.
Practically all of her work is based on her life in Tathra and she specialises in surfboats.
Lifesaving and surfboats have played a large part in Zel's life, starting with her meeting with Joe Caddey at a surf lifesaving meeting in Moruya.
According to her friend, Betty Koellner, Zel was nursing in Moruya at that time and she met Joe when he came up from Tathra to compete.
When they married and settled in Tathra, both Zel and Joe worked tirelessly for the Tathra Life Saving Association.
In 2014, in recognition of her work over the 56 years she lived in Tathra, the association named a timber surfboat after her and that boat, with an all-women crew, won its inaugural race.
Zel also had a long association with Tathra Public School through her children and grandchildren.
Ms Koellner said that although Zel's daughter, Ann, taught art, Zel only dabbled at that time, but she did hold classes at the school in painting some years ago.
Zel Caddey was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011 and on the death of Joe, she moved to Newcastle to be nearer family.
However, her artwork has continued.
She may have lost her ability to communicate verbally, but she does it all with her work.
One of her surfboat prints is hanging in Parliament House, Canberra, brought there by Sharon Claydon, Member for Newcastle.