THE district’s three Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) recipients share one thing in common – a sense of humility.
Peter Appleton of Kilmore and John Jennings of Seymour both received their OAM for service to their respective communities.
Seymour resident, John Phoenix was awarded his OAM for service to veterans and their families.
Mr Jennings, who was last year’s Mitchell Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year, said that while he was honoured and privileged to receive the recognition he was only one of the many people who worked on the projects for which he was recognised.
“In many ways this award recognises teamwork that resulted in great projects being realised for the community. The honour really goes to the groups,” Mr Jennings said.
Seymour’s Light Horse Memorial Park and the Seymour Historical society are Mr Jennings big passions.
History is clearly in his veins – he has acted as an advisor to the Mitchell Shire Heritage Advisory Committee, has served on the Military Heritage Weekend Committee and has authored or co-authored some 15 on the histories of a wide range of communities.
He was also a member of the 2000 Olympic Torch Relay organising committee and was one of the torch bearers who brought the Olympic flame into Seymour.
John Phoenix, a Vietnam Veteran and serving member of the Australian Army from 1965-1991, believes that the recognition should go to the projects on which he worked.
“I have worked on a lot of projects with some great people and I would like to share this honour with them for all their hard work,” Mr Phoenix said.
He served as chairman of the ANZAC Centenary Project Memorial Committee, and was the organiser of the procurement of a decommissioned Leopard Tank installed at Rotary Park.
He also was instrumental in obtaining and the refurbishment of a Centurion Tank that is currently a feature of the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk.
Mr Phoenix is currently the president and founder of the Seymour and District Car Club – a position he has held since 2011.
Kilmore resident, Peter Appleton, said that being awarded an OAM was an honour but he felt a little embarrassed that there were many people in the community whose work would have qualified them for an award.
“The good part about the awards if that it gives us all an opportunity to recognise people in our community for the work they do and the contributions they make – we should all start thinking of worthy recipients for the next round of awards,” Mr Appleton said.
He added that one of the pleasures of working within community organisations was the opportunity to join with “scores of selfless individuals” who had the community at heart.
Mr Appleton was a member of the Kilmore and District Hospital Board for 14 year and served two terms as its president.
He has been a member of Rotary since the 1980sand was a member of the inaugural Kilmore Celtic Festival Committee.