Biggenden celebrates Australia Day with awards
BIGGENDEN Citizen of the Year Kevin “Lofty” Wendt accepted his Australia Day award with a great deal of honour and humility.
Councillor Robbie Radel said Mr Wendt had served his country for 30 years and council for 24 years including four years as weed controller and the remainder as Biggenden and North Burnett Regional councillor.
Lofty is described as the quintessential Aussie who believes in a fair go, hard work, helping out and mateship.
Cr Radel said Lofty is a generous person and if he sees a job that needs doing he will gladly contribute.
“He is a practical, clear thinking person who likes taking on a challenge,” he said.
“In his leadership and service roles in the community he has been able to use his military expertise, reliability and vision to help others out.”
Mr Wendt said his life had been about service, council and community but he could not have done it without his family.
He strongly encouraged residents and organisations to put pen to paper and submit nominations for the various awards available.
Cr Radel said if you think of anyone deserving of an award you don’t have to wait until November.
“While it’s fresh in your mind is the time to do it,” he said.
“It’s not a big job but an important one.”
Cr Radel said it would be great to have someone nominated in each of the award categories.
This year Biggenden had no nominations in the three sports categories or the senior cultural award.
The Biggenden State School’s musical Jungle Book picked up the junior cultural award. Accepting the award David Callaway said paid tribute to director David Horner for the many hours he spent on the production.
“It was also great to see all the schools involved,” he said.
For young citizen of the year John Houton has been heavily involved with Biggenden PCYC cadets. His leadership qualities have also been recognised being named Isis High school captain this year.
Biggenden Apex Rose Festival took out the gong for community event of the year.
Gary Dundas said winning this reassures me this is the sort of event Biggenden needs.
He paid tribute to his righthand man, Pascal Kallenberg whom he said does more than anyone sees.
Volunteer of the year, Cr Radel said was a very tough decision by the Australia Day committee.
”It is one we laboured over due to the calibre of the nominations,” he said.
”The hours, Moira Thompson, Trish Beddows and Ros Buczma have volunteered is mind boogling.
”If they pulled up stumps, they would leave a huge void.”
The award was accepted by Di Beddows on behalf of her daughter Ros Buczma who had been unable to attend.
BIGGENDEN: Australia Day awards winners, John Houton, Dave Callaway, Gary Dundas, Pascal Kallenberg. front, Lofty Wendt and Di Beddows who accepted award on behalf of daughter, Ros Buczma.