A life­time of help­ing oth­ers

Ded­i­cated to his com­mu­nity for more than 50 years

Isis Town and Country - - News | Welcome - Jodie Dixon Jodie.Dixon@isistc­news.com.au

HE HAS ded­i­cated decades to his beloved com­mu­nity of Childers and the softly spo­ken, hum­ble man is well known and re­spected by all who know him – he is Al­wyn Har­rip.

He mar­ried Gwen in the early 50s and to­gether they raised two sons in a small town in Western Vic­to­ria on the fam­ily merino stud farm.

Mr Har­rip said they moved to a warmer cli­mate for a bet­ter qual­ity of life af­ter his wife be­came ill.

“The cli­mate makes the re­gion very at­trac­tive, es­pe­cially as we age,” he said.

Mr Har­rip moved to Childers in 1980 with his beloved wife. She sadly passed away eight years later.

As he ap­proaches his 90th birth­day next year, there is no sign of him slow­ing down.

With an op­por­tu­nity to tell a joke, Mr Har­rip has a sense of hu­mour to boot.

When asked if he played sport, he replied: “I think I’m too young to join the bowls club.

“I en­joy sport and I played foot­ball and cricket in my younger days.”

With 50 years of ded­i­ca­tion to Legacy, Mr Har­rip is pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing com­mu­nity groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“Be­ing in­volved in the com­mu­nity keeps me ac­tive. I be­lieve we need so­cial in­ter­ac­tion with oth­ers, in­clud­ing the younger mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

“Ev­ery­one ca­pa­ble should be do­nat­ing time to their com­mu­nity. If it wasn’t for the vol­un­teers, our coun­try would stop func­tion­ing.”

The walls of his home dis­play 18 na­tional awards, in­clud­ing Or­der of Aus­tralia medal, QFSM: Queens­land Fire Ser­vice medal and Cen­te­nary medal from the Paul Har­ris Fel­low award.

“I was once asked what I re­ceived the OAM for, I jok­ingly replied, I helped an old lady cross the road.

“I be­lieve it’s our duty to vol­un­teer and sup­port our com­mu­nity and coun­try.”

Mr Har­rip has sup­ported many com­mu­nity groups and clocked up 37 years with the Childers His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, where he is the pres­i­dent.

“I’ve been with Ro­tary for 35-plus years, fire ser­vice over 30 years and was part of the RSL for 25 years, just to name a few.”

In 2000 Mr Har­rip proudly sup­ported his coun­try by be­ing part of the of­fi­cial Olympic torch re­lay team, run­ning through the streets of Childers.

His first pas­sion is for clas­sic vin­tage cars.

He is the proud owner of a 1925 Chev.

The car is only two years older than Mr Har­rip.

“I re­ally en­joy col­lect­ing un­usual ob­jects and items and I also re­store old fur­ni­ture and cars.

“I built the an­tique shop by hand with 40 ton of stone.”

The quaint little store opened in 1990 on Churchill St but closed its doors in 2013.

“I have been busier since re­tir­ing and more in­volved in the com­mu­nity.”

Mr Har­rip fought in the Sec­ond World War.

He be­lieves it’s ev­ery­body’s duty to help oth­ers less for­tu­nate.

“There is al­ways some­thing to do in Childers, you just need to look.”

I have been busier since re­tir­ing and more in­volved in the com­mu­nity. — Al­wyn Har­rip

PHOTO: JODIE DIXONBIT040816ALWYN02

VIN­TAGE: Proud owner Al­wyn Har­rip with his 1925 Chev.

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