Monday 11 April 2016
Two high performing local volunteers were honoured on Saturday as the Joint 2016 Bega Valley Shire Senior Citizens of the Year.
Mayor Michael Britten announced that Brian Richards of Bega and Eileen Cameron of Eden had been nominated for their contributions to their communities when he presented the awards at the Golden Gig, the centrepiece of Council’s Seniors Festival activities to honour our older citizens.
Mr Richards spent 62 years on the Bega Tennis Club which included three terms as president and 35 years as treasurer, many of them doubling with his role as secretary.
He relaunched the night competition in 1973 and ran it continuously for 41 years until his retirement last year. He coached on Saturday mornings for the same period.
He also grew the Easter competition to a major annual event for the club to a point where 250 to 300 players were contributing $200,000 into the Bega economy at its peak.
Mrs Cameron has been a strong advocate for the rights of her Eden community for many years. She is seen at all types of forums and meetings making sure that the needs of the Eden community are heard.
On a daily basis, she is the link between the local St Vincent de Paul Society and people in need, providing food, fuel and or vouchers. She is available at any time, day or night and never lets down a person in crisis.
Mrs Cameron is also a member of the Social Justice Advocacy Group and a volunteer with the Eden Killer Whale Museum.
In keeping with this years’ NSW Government Seniors Week theme, Grow Young, more than 200 people from across the Shire attended a free community luncheon, the Golden Gig in the new Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre – a first visit for many of the seniors who were very impressed by the new facility.
Guests enjoyed a 3 course luncheon and were treated to local entertainment by Merimbula Rock ‘n’ Rodders, solo artist David O’Conner and the group Wild Martin, which included Pete Wild & Sam Martin who performed a Blues/ Jazz combo that sent guests home with a Grow Young feeling, a skip in their stride and a heel click out the door.
Comperes of the event this year were last year’s Senior Citizens of the Year, Jan and John Aveyard from Eden who inspire guests to give back and be active in their community.
With the support of local businesses attendees received gift bags with free & discount vouchers for local services, including a free Macular degeneration eye check, discount meals, travel, car servicing, education and fitness classes as well as Government information on seniors benefits and entitlements.
The main foyer was filled with active lifestyle stalls providing information on travel, education, health & wellbeing as well as a portrait photographer capturing seniors at their best. There was also opportunity for feedback contributing towards Councils Community Strategic Plan.