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Australia Day Awards: Special award for Service to Community and Citizen of the Year

EACH year as part of the Australia Day ceremony in Wingham and as a part of Rotary's commitment to the community, the Wingham Rotary Club arrange and sponsor the Australia Day Awards. Nominations are sought from the general community and from these nominations a decision is made as to the recipients. There are four award categories in which nominations are sought:

Pride of Workmanship, Sports Person of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year and Citizen of the Year. This year there was also a Special Award for Service to our Community.

Special Award for Service to our Community - Don Forbes

IN 2009 after much hard work by the Rotary Club of Wingham and many Wingham volunteers, the Wingham Men's Shed was opened for our community. Many members of our community have been a part of the shed's activities forming a vibrant and happy bunch, not only completing personal projects but helping out several local organisations and individuals.

Of course all organisations need competent people working behind the scenes to foster success and growth. From the outset Don Forbes took on the role of shed co-ordinator, bringing his considerable skill and experience in the cabinet making industry to this project. His ability to get on with others, to always be on hand to give advice, help out and expand the shed's project base and keep the shed's everyday working on an even keel, gave the shed a firm base on which to develop into the wonderful community facility it is today.

Sadly Don passed away towards the end of 2013. The Rotary Club of Wingham presented his wife Robyn with this award in gratitude and acknowledgement of the considerable contribution Don gave to the development and success of the Wingham Men's Shed.

The Citizen of the Year Award - Norm and Marie Hatchwell

THEY have just celebrated 60 succesful years of marriage but Norm and Marie Hatchwell have more celebrating to do. The busy couple were awarded the Wingham Rotary Citizen of the Year Award at the Central Park Australia Day ceremony. They were delighted but surprised by the award suggesting there were plenty of other people more worthy than them. But this year Rotary chose this husband and wife team for their many years service to the community.

The Citizen of the Year Award is an award that Rotary said seeks to highlight the outstanding contribution a local citizen has given to the community. The club looks for someone who has contributed to a variety of organisations and events over an extended period of time with such contribution adding to the overall benefit of our community. 

For many years Norm and Marie have provided contact and greeting to many people who need to spend time alone in their homes and are unable to get out and about. By being willing volunteers in the Meals on Wheels program they have not only provided a regular meal service but also allowed many people to have regular contact with others.

They have also been very active members of the Wingham Services Day Club for more than 20 years, holding executive positions in the club. This club actively provides volunteer services to many of our community members who are unable to leave their homes and get about for sightseeing, shopping and so many other activities most of us take for granted. For their untiring efforts to the Wingham Services Day Club, Norm and Marie received 20 year service badges.

The couple first met at five o'clock on Boxing Day 1948. Young Marie was still a high school student and she met Norm at Burrell Creek. Their courtship included regular trips from Krambach to the picture house in Taree. Marie said they have enjoyed mutual interests ever since. They have four sons and two daughters who between them have provided Norm and Marie with eight wonderful grandchildren.

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