Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 12, 2011

Sunday. 11 December 2011 – Sunbury’s 175 Faces!!

I had a bit of extra time on the radio this morning – through until after 10am actually –  with the country music peopled who normally follow my program, but unavailable, I decided to give the fans of that genre of music at least an hour of their ‘Sunday fix’!! 

As a bit of an outcome from that extra time, I found a rather pleasing Face Book message waiting for me upon my return home, from a former workmate up at the Shire of Gisborne, where I was employed up until the municipal council amalgamation process in 1994-95.   “Hello Bill, was that you on the radio this morning? I thought I recognised the voice, but didn’t hear who it was, as I only heard the last 10 minutes of the program. We cannot get the radio station in Gisborne, so I usually tune into it when driving in Sunbury to hear if you’re on, and I think it might have been you. If so, you sound good on the radio. Kind regards, Christine”.  That was a nice bit of feedback, rare in this business for me, and I did send back an appropriate reply, though when she will get to read it, I don’t  – I have the impression that this particular Face Book ‘user’ only actually logs on once in a ‘blue moon’!!

For the 3rd day in a row, the Test Cricket in Tasmania came to an end a couple of hours before the scheduled finishing time, during to poor weather, rain and bad light. The 3rd day’s play saw another avalanche of wickets falling before lunch – New Zealand losing 7 wickets for 87, and with Australia batting in their 2nd Innings, requiring 242 runs to win the match, they were 0 for 72 at stumps, all wickets available, and just 169 runs needed at that stage!  It should be an Australian victory, with still 2 days play available.

Meanwhile, in the Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy Final, being played over in Auckland, NZ, Australia won that championship, for the 4th time in a row, defeating Spain 1-0, in a match that looked rather rough at times!!  While that was going on, Susie and I had a visitor  –  Jodie called around, and eventually stayed to have a meal with us, as I had cooked enough food for 3 people!! Although I think the girls were happier with the way the meal turned out than I was!!  Not really enjoying my own cooking at the moment.

The town of Sunbury celebrated the 175th anniversary of colonial settlement this year? . Sunbury is home to many unique and historically significant places to visit and explore – the oldest homestead in Victoria, the Home of the Ashes, and award-winning wineries. Sunbury is also able to boast being the closest wine region to Melbourne and one of the oldest villages in Victoria.  Hume City Council is very proud of Sunbury, our community and what it has to offer.   During the year Council has held a number of events to celebrate the 175 year anniversary   This weekend, as a culmination of Sunbury’s celebration of it’s 175th ‘birthday’, we had the Awards Ceremony take place for the 175 Faces of Sunbury Community Event..  From early times, communities have rewarded community leaders for excellence, achievement and outstanding service. This recognition has taken many forms. In recognition of the 175 year anniversary of the founding of Sunbury, the Faces of Sunbury awards have been established. These awards will recognise the service of individuals in Sunbury who make a significant contribution to the community. The nominee may be anyone from a doctor who has spent decades treating Sunbury children, a social worker supporting local families, a football star inspiring junior players, a business owner employing local staff or a person volunteering.  The recognition ceremony was held at local tourist destination, the Pitruzzello Estate Olive Grove and Vineyard,  to announce the 175 Faces of Sunbury and to formally congratulate and applaud the people who make Sunbury great.  The nominations for the awards were indicative of the strength of volunteerism and the strong community spirit in Sunbury. The nominees are as diverse as Sunbury itself – with well-known business and tourism operators, volunteer sporting coaches and club supporters, leaders in community health, environmentalists, historians and community service workers among the suggestions. The eligibility criterion for the awards was open to anyone living or passed who worked, lived or studied in Sunbury. It has enabled us to honour anyone in the community – from our founders to people who have made a recent contribution and people of all ages and backgrounds.

Volunteers, teachers, entrepreneurs and artists were among the 175 Faces of Sunbury honoured, and I will make reference to some of the selected names in tomorrow’s blog contribution, which names included two individual members of the radio station, and a ‘group community’ award to the radio station as an organisation.  In announcing the Awards, Hume Mayor Councillor Ros Spence said the town has developed and grown while still maintaining its unique character because of the commitment and energy of its residents.  “This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the quiet achievers, volunteers and community leaders, both past and present, who have helped craft Sunbury into the burgeoning community it is today” Cr Spence said. “ “Despite a growing population this town has retained its unique sense of community spirit and identity – a country town feel just a stones throw from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne.”  Nominations were sought from throughout the community in an extended consultation process which began in February. Residents were asked to identify leaders, volunteers, friends and family both past and present who have made a positive impact on the town. More than 300 nominations were received and the nominees were then assessed by a panel who selected the final 175 recipients. “The Sunbury community takes great pride in their community, its people are friendly and are committed to making Sunbury the best it can be. This event reflects those strong community ties,” Cr Spence said. “This year’s long calendar of events marking Sunbury’s 175th Anniversary, have provided us all with a terrific opportunity to reflect on how far this region has grown and developed.”  At the ceremony a time capsule containing mementos from throughout the community was also officially closed. The capsule will be buried and unearthed in 25 years to mark Sunbury’s bicentennial.  [I should note that at a couple of meetings earlier this year, members of the Family History Society suggested that my name be put forward as a nomination – I actually declined that suggestion, genuinely feeling that my contributions to the Sunbury community were of little significance when compared with what many other more deserving people had achieved. That feeling was certainly confirmed when I perused the list of outstanding individuals you had granted that honour].


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