Les is top cit­i­zen again

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

TWO years ago to the day the North Bur­nett com­mu­nity wasn’t bliss­fully cel­e­brat­ing Aus­tralia Day on Jan­uary 26, but strug­gling to keep their heads above wa­ter.

And dur­ing th­ese ter­ri­ble floods, North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil act­ing CEO Les Hotz worked dili­gently be­hind the scenes, man­ning phones non-stop for four days, an act which con­trib­uted to him be­ing named Monto Cit­i­zen of the Year this Aus­tralia Day.

“What this award means to me is recog­ni­tion, by the coun­cil and by the com­mu­nity,” Mr Hotz said.

“And I couldn’t have done it alone; I’m very thank­ful for the support of (wife) Val and my fam­ily and recog­nise the support of coun­cil­lors and staff.”

In his ac­cep­tance speech, Mr Hotz also touched upon his forced re­dun­dancy from the coun­cil last year, soon after the floods and 47 years of ser­vice.

“It was prob­a­bly the great­est dis­ap­point­ment of my life when I found out I’d been beaten by a Whiskar,” Mr Hotz said, the pun re­fer­ring to the coun­cil’s cur­rent gen­eral man­ager for cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity ser­vices David Whiskar.

De­spite the joke, the sub­ject il­lus­trated how im­por­tant be­ing a pub­lic ser­vant and help­ing his com­mu­nity is to him.

“(The 2013 floods) was a load to carry to make sure ev­ery­one was safe. We had no fa­tal­i­ties, so that was the most im­por­tant thing, and a mea­sure of the com­mu­ni­ties re­silience and abil­ity to cope in a time of nat­u­ral dis­as­ter,” he said.

Since his con­ver­sion to Chris­tian­ity early on in life, Mr Hotz has worked tire­lessly with the Monto Pres­by­te­rian Church, par­tic­u­larly with young peo­ple. He even won the Cit­i­zen of the Year once be­fore in 1984 for his weekly work with the Pathfind­ers group that ran camps for chil­dren.

In Jan­uary of each year he worked as part of a team that put on In­ter School Christian Fel­low­ship camps at Leslie and Som­er­set Dams that taught about 45 kids wa­ter-ski­ing and Christian study, and he later de­vel­oped his own camp site at Ca­nia Dam.

“The pas­sion (is from) want­ing to share my faith and work with young peo­ple,” he said

This year Mr Hotz said he would be con­tin­u­ing with his com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity, as well as spend­ing time with his beloved fam­ily.

John Lynn, Jean Wilson, Jes­sika Brown, The Monto Polocrosse Com­mit­tee and Judi Bald­win were also nom­i­nated for Aus­tralia Day Awards.

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

ALL SMILES: Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney pre­sented Les Hotz with his Cit­i­zen of the Year award.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.