‘Joy-ful Knight’ for Cit­i­zen of the Year

Southern Riverina news - - AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS 2019 -

There was no dis­put­ing the com­mu­nity adored the an­nounce­ment of Joy Knight as the Jer­ilderie Cit­i­zen of the Year on Satur­day night.

As ma­tri­arch of the Knight fam­ily, the 72 year-old has been a vol­un­teer with nu­mer­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Jer­ilderie Pub­lic School Ladies Aux­il­iary, Fin­ley High School P&C, Jer­ilderie Foot­ball and Net­ball Clubs, Unit­ing Church Flower Show, Jer­ilderie United Hos­pi­tals Aux­il­iary and De­vel­op­ment of Lake Jer­ilderie group.

In her speech on Satur­day night she thanked her fam­ily and com­mu­nity for their sup­port­ing over her time in the small town and gave a spe­cial men­tion to her hus­band of 54 years.

‘‘I’m very hon­oured and hum­ble that I’ve re­ceived this award and re­ally do ap­pre­ci­ate it,’’ Mrs Knight said.

‘‘My en­tire fam­ily are here with me tonight and that makes it even more spe­cial be­cause my fam­ily over the years has put up with me, car­ried things, moved things and per­haps been or­gan­ised by me.

‘‘They’ve done it with great pride and hap­pi­ness I think; I do ap­pre­ci­ate that.

‘‘Arthur (Joy’s hus­band) is per­haps a steady in­flu­ence on me. When I’ve had some hair brain ideas he’s said qui­etly, ‘think about it’, and I’ve thought about it.

‘‘Some­times it’s worked and some­times it hasn’t but Arthur has al­ways sup­ported and en­cour­aged me in every­thing I wanted to do.

‘‘All awards are given to in­di­vid­u­als but no in­di­vid­ual can get an award without sup­port.

‘‘My CWA and friends have worked with and be­side me and I re­ally do ap­pre­ci­ate that.

‘‘This award is for them be­cause they have been the ones who have en­abled me to par­tic­i­pate in the var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions.’’

Orig­i­nally mov­ing from Shep­par­ton in 1965 with Arthur, the cou­ple and par­ents of five have called Jer­ilderie home ever since.

‘‘The com­mu­nity of Jer­ilderie is won­der­ful and re­ally re­ward­ing (to live in),’’ Mrs Knight said.

‘‘It takes a vil­lage to raise a child, but it takes a vil­lage to make a com­mu­nity too.

‘‘There are some great peo­ple here and it’s a fab­u­lous com­mu­nity.’’

The grand­mother of seven has con­trib­uted more than 40 years with the lo­cal Unit­ing Church and has been in­volved with help­ing to run the an­nual Jer­ilderie Flower Show.

‘‘The flower show has been run­ning in Jer­ilderie for many years and I have been a stew­ard for that time,’’ Mrs Knight said.

‘‘It was run by the Pres­by­te­rian Church and now by the Unit­ing Church, and it’s al­ways suc­cess­ful.

‘‘It’s a coun­try thing and ev­ery­one puts in. . . we’ve had judges say it’s bet­ter than some of the top shows.’’

While be­ing a mem­ber with the CWA Jer­ilderie Branch for 12 years, she has served the last five years as pres­i­dent.

Mrs Knight is still re­mem­bered by many lo­cal ladies for run­ning Brown­ies for 15 years.

‘‘We had girls from seven to 12 and a full pack of 24. I would take them camp­ing into shear­ing quar­ters and it was a re­ally re­ward­ing time.

‘‘What made it spe­cial was see­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the girls. Even to this day I run into them and they re­mark ‘oh my shoes aren’t clean’,’’ she said with a laugh.

Tes­ti­mo­ni­als pro­vided in sup­port of Mrs Knight’s nom­i­na­tion pro­vide in­sight into her gen­eros­ity, spirit and her ca­pac­ity to or­gan­ise peo­ple and events, yet never los­ing sight of the need for ev­ery­one to be heard and re­spected.

De­scribed as a self­less per­son who not only in­vests heav­ily in her town and com­mu­nity, Mrs Knight is gen­er­ous in giv­ing her time to as­sist her fam­ily and friends.

Ri­ley Nolen.

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