Terry Ryan and Ryan Fordham were recognised as Lakes Entrance’s Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year for 2020 on Sunday.
Once again the Lakes Entrance Lions Club held a friendly and enjoyable Australia Day ceremony and breakfast, which also tipped its cap to Event of the Year, Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club’s Gippsland Lakes Paddle Challenge.
There was a large crowd in attendance at the Mechanics Hall to see the flag raising ceremony, followed by the presentation of the awards to the deserving recipients.
President of the Lakes Entrance Lions Club, Tony Mitchinson, welcomed guests and was happy to report that there were nominations in all three categories.
He acknowledged the great work of each nominee achieved in improving the opportunities for people living in Lakes Entrance.
He acknowledged that the recent bushfires had shown that many citizens give their time and love to help those less fortunate. “The Lions Club motto is ‘We Serve’ and I am pleased to note that the three winners of the 2020 are following this motto,” Tony said.
Mr Ryan is best known to most locals as the man who meticulously cleans up the streets and environment daily.
“This quiet gentleman has a passion for nature and the damage that can be caused by the reckless and lazy habits that both locals and tourists practice in beautiful
Lakes Entrance,” Tony said. “For the past three and a half years, most mornings Tony leaves his home armed with his tools and cleans up Lakes Entrance.”
Ryan grew up in Lakes Entrance and received his education at Lakes Entrance primary and secondary schools.
He joined Lakes Entrance CFA as a junior member and since becoming a senior member has undergone extensive training.
Over the past 12 months he has gained competence as a structural firefighter and angle rescue operator. He has also been actively involved in mentoring and assisting many new members. This has extended to members in surrounding brigades.
Ryan has also stepped up to fill some leadership roles within the brigade, performing at a level beyond that of many his age.
His practical demonstration of firefighting ability, skills and willingness to share his expertise to benefit the community exemplifies what volunteering is about.
Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club has hosted the Gippsland Lakes Paddle Challenge for the past nine years and every year it has grown in numbers.
The event is recognised as one of Australia’s best paddling events with over 150 participants last year, thanks largely to the work of chief organiser, Paul King.
The club, in conjunction with Lakes Entrance Coast Guard, provides the water safety and risk management.
“This club should be congratulated on the hosting of this annual event,” Tony said.
Tony also acknowledged the club for the amount of time and dedication to work with the youth in the area, to teach them life skills and give them the opportunity to grow and develop while patrolling the beaches.
President of Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club, David Richardson, said he was proud to be representing the club in his hometown.
He also acknowledged Mr King for his tireless work.
The day concluded with the drawing of the Men’s Shed raffle with a donation of $2582 to the Lakes Entrance CFA.
IMAGE: Terry Ryan and Ryan Fordham were presented Lakes Entrance’s Australia Day Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year at a ceremony held at the Mechanics Hall on Sunday. K89-4274/4276