A beaming smile couldn’t escape from much-loved Berrigan character David Woodward when he was announced the Berrigan Shire Citizen of the Year.
Mr Woodward — or as everyone knows him ‘Woody’ — is a local car mechanic who has shown a life-long commitment to his beloved town.
One of his best known tenures is with Amaroo Aged Care, with Mr Woodward on the board of directors for the past 20 years.
He was heavily involved with building the independent living units and Amaroo extensions.
‘‘My uncle was one of the first residents,’’ Mr Woodward said.
‘‘I went there with some ideas that might help the residents and said ‘you’ve got these ideas why don’t you implement them’. I’ve seen it grow from a seven bed facility to a 32 bed facility.
‘‘Amaroo is a special place in my heart because it does a couple of things — it looks after our local residents in their vulnerable stages, it’s a major employer which is very important in our small community and with what the farmers are going through, it has given their wives a bit of work and something to go on with.
‘‘Once upon a time people had to drive 200 miles to be looked after and now we can look after our own.
‘‘Amaroo is one of the greatest organisations I’ve ever been involved in.’’
Mr Woodward’s accolades don’t just stop with Amaroo.
He’s also has been a cub scout leader, a Lions member, has spent the last three years as Berrigan RSL welfare officer and joined the Rural Fire Service in 1990.
‘‘I love the RSL because we sponsor kids to go overseas to preserve our national heritage,’’ he said.
‘‘The latest group I’ve been with is the Community Club and it’s been great with the outside work, making our golf and bowl greens as good as we possibly can.
‘‘A lot of the organisations are suffering from one thing — they’re getting older and unable to do some of the tasks.
‘‘I think they appreciate someone just being able to drop the task off the list and knowing it will be done.
‘‘I’d encourage anyone in the community to take on various roles. I find at a lot of the working bee people are worried about how they fit in.
‘‘Working bees take all skill sets; it’s amazing what skills you can find when you start working as a team.’’
The 56 year-old said he was humbled to win the Berrigan Shire Citizen of the Year.
‘‘This award is the greatest honour you can receive in your local community and it’s an accolade you should wear with your heart,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t want any awards. It’s nice to be recognised but this is for the Berrigan community.
‘‘Community only works with the involvement of all organisations working together for a common goal to make the place we live in the best it can be.
‘‘In the troubled times we have with lack of water and drought, all those terrible things that go on, the thing that can give you the greatest reward is a little bit of preservation of people.’’
Mr Woodward and his wife Maria live in Jerilderie and Mr Woodward runs his Berrigan business ‘Woody Motors’.
‘‘That’s where my wife is so important because she has to live without me for a lot of the time as I’m involved with a lot of committees,’’ he said.
‘‘You can’t do it on your own; you must have that support.
‘‘Maria does more than I do, I’m just the front man. She does the background work.’’
Mr Woodward dedicated the award to his parents, Bernie and Jean, who he described as ‘‘townspeople who devoted their time to the community’’.
(From left) Carol Cottam, Anne and Bruce Hardie, Margaret Arnold, David Woodward, Graeme Arnold, Maria Woodward, Di Pollard, Joe Cottam and Roy Pollard.
Tocumwal Lions members (from left) Kate Folliard, Carol Wigam, Sandra Williams, Helen Beer, Gayle Bourke, Cheryl Townsend and Len Soule.