Australia Day got off to a great start in Rutherglen when the Rotary Club hosted the celebrations in perfect weather at Lions Park in central Rutherglen.
With more than 200 people turning out for a great breakfast and entertained by the Golden Warbler, Hans Dursma, MC Sophie Price presented Bill Meagher with his Certificate of Achievement Award.
Bill has been a tireless volunteer for numerous organisations in Rutherglen, and this award was just recognition for a life of giving.
Sophie was ably assisted by councillor Bernie Gaffney.
Special mention was made to two new recipients of the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) – Colin Campbell for services to the wine industry and Francis Walsh, for services to numerous local organisations.
Australia Day Ambassador Rob Gell, whilst he is best known for being a television weather presenter for 31 years, has achieved much in the areas of his expertise such as geography teaching, geomorphology and environmental science.
In 2014, he was awarded an OAM in recognition of his service to conservation, to the protection of coastal and marine environments, and to the community.
Rob gave an interesting talk on his past association with the North East and its geology, as well as highlighting Australia’s achievements on environmental issues and the challenges ahead.
He also encouraged all attendees to start discussing the date of Australia Day, so we are all aware of the issues and origins of the date.
After a great rendition of the National Anthem – both verses, with cheat sheet provided – many people stayed behind to catch up with friends, new and old.