Ninety-one-year-old Tantawangalo farmer Neville Targett still drives his quad bike across his property, but it’s a long way from the horse and sulky he took as a child to St John’s Church on a Sunday.
Along with his wife Eileen, the couple were awarded a Bega Valley Shire Community Service Medallion on Wednesday for documenting records of burials, baptisms, marriages, funerals and services from the church and nearby cemetery, and volunteering countless hours of their time to maintaining the grounds.
“We never expected anything like this,” Mr Targett said.
“The church and the cemetery have always been part of our lives.”
Cobargo’s Carolyn Cole was holidaying in the mountains when she heard of her award.
“It is a great honour, but I’m sure there’s others more deserving than me. I just like helping people,” she said.
Ms Cole said her she has been inspired by the volunteer work of her husband Ron, to become involved with the Red Cross, her local fire brigade, the Cobargo Show Society and the Anglican church.
“You make a lot of friends, and I love the sense of camaraderie. Most volunteer groups here don’t really have a leader because everyone works together,” she said.
Volunteering has allowed her to meet new people and hear their stories.
“It gives me a sense of being in a group of people helping the community grow. It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle,” she said.
Bermagui’s Christine Bimson, while probably best known for her work with the Bermagui Seaside Fair, has been involved with the town’s chamber of commerce, historical society, youth and community groups and with the Cancer Research Advocate Bikers.
“Doing something for others makes you happy,” she said.
“It is a great honour, and it really makes me feel proud to be recognised.”
Olwen Morris from Tura Beach, Colleen Elton of Lochiel and Tura Beach Knitters Group members Fay Frost and Marj Watson also received medallions.