THIS Australia Day, Manning Valley Historical Society president Barbara Waters was named Australia Day Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club of Wingham.
The awards ceremony took place at the Wingham Memorial Town Hall as part of the official Australia Day celebrations.
Mrs Waters was born and bred in the Manning area, starting her school life in Wingham and completing her schooling at Ravenswood School for Girls in Sydney. After leaving school she started a nursing career at The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown.
After completing training there the pull of the Manning Valley was too great and she returned to nurse at the Manning River District Hospital.
Being an outdoor girl and with her love of horses both she and her new husband were the foundation members of the Wingham Pony Club which they were involved in for many years. To this day this still a very strong club.
It wasn't long before Mrs Waters was sought after as a receptionist and trained sister by a doctor's surgery in Wingham, where she spent some time before starting work at Wingham Court nursing home as sister in charge, progressing to director of care in charge of this facility.
Retirement looked like a good option after some years there, but this was not to be the case.
Mrs Waters still had some good to do in the community that she loved so much. So it was that the CADE unit in Wingham was to benefit from her vast experience in nursing and she spent time there where her skills and loving nature were much appreciated by staff and patients alike.
Then another try at retirement - this time to fill her spare moments she started as a volunteer at the Manning Valley Historical Society Museum - what a great place for someone with such a vast knowledge of our beautiful area to spend time.
Mr Eric Richardson was the long time president at this time and had brought new life to the museum during his term, but it time was moving on and a new president was to be elected. Retirement would have to wait for Mrs Waters as she was elected president and has since devoted a lot of her time to the task, taking at times historical tours of the Manning area. With her merry band of enthusiastic and talented volunteers she has made our museum one of the best regional museums in NSW.