Cheers to Kindness: Colin Apelt’s Heartwarming Tale of Service


In the quiet hallways of Brisbane’s St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Colin Apelt, 92, brings a special kind of cheer to the palliative care ward.

Week after week, for over two decades, Colin has been a familiar face to those facing life’s final chapter. With a humble trolley of drinks, he delivers more than just refreshments—he offers moments of genuine human connection.

His routine, fondly dubbed “Happy Hour,” goes beyond the gin and tonics he serves. It’s about the smiles he shares and the stories exchanged. The drinks may be simple, but the comfort they accompany is profound. In doing so, Colin shows us that making a difference doesn’t have an expiration date.

His dedication to volunteering might seem extraordinary, but for Colin, it’s just part of life. It’s a reminder that you’re never too old to start, and the smallest acts can lift spirits in ways that medicine alone cannot.

For those out there who’ve thought about volunteering but haven’t yet, or for those who’ve felt the weight of such work grow heavy, let Colin’s story be a gentle push. It proves that you don’t need grand gestures to touch lives; sometimes, a listening ear and a shared drink are enough.

Colin’s Thursday afternoons tell us something beautiful about life: giving to others, in any capacity, is a joy in itself. It’s not about fanfare or recognition but about the quiet satisfaction of bringing ease and happiness to others.

What has volunteering taught Colin? It’s simple: the act of giving is its own reward.

His story isn’t just uplifting; it’s an open invitation for us all to find our way to give back, to seek out the joy in helping others, and to remember that our capacity to care knows no age.

So, let’s raise our glasses to Colin—the man with a trolley, who reminds us that the heart of volunteering is found in the everyday kindness we can offer one another.

If Colin can do it, so can we. Let’s step into the world of volunteering, however we can, and spread the kind of warmth and companionship that truly makes a difference.