Gordon’s happy to be helping others out
After facing ‘‘something of a health crisis’’ 15 years ago, Deniliquin’s Gordon Gannon was forced to reevaluate how meaningful his life had been.
On reflection, he felt he could do more to support others and so started his association with Riding for the Disabled.
The club helps people with a disability learn new motor skills, while offering the special bond a horse provides.
Mr Gannon joined the Cobram branch, then the only one in the district.
His involvement started with the donation of horses for the Cobram riders, and he has been the group’s president for the past 14 years.
Mr Gannon helped the Deniliquin branch following its formation by Luke Harrington in 2015, and serves as its vice-president.
His dedication to the organisation has already led to a life membership of the Cobram club and Mr Gannon has just been honoured at state level.
He received the outstanding service award at a special dinner hosted by RDA Victoria patron and Victorian Governor Linda Dessau.
‘‘I was a bit taken aback when I received the letter, because there are probably people who are more deserving than I am; I just turn up with the horses,’’ Mr Gannon said.
‘‘After I had something of a health crisis 15 years ago, it led me to really add up what my life has been. I felt I owed society something of a debt.
‘‘I saw an ad (for Cobram’s RDA) in the vet office in Numurkah — I was looking for something and I thought I could do that.
‘‘The rest is history, as they say, and I’ve been president for the last 14 years,’’ Mr Gannon said.
‘‘I take three horses over to Cobram every second week and in the other weeks I take them to Deni.
‘‘I enjoy doing it and I feel I can really relate to them (the participants).’’
Until the age of six, Mr Gannon’s legs were wrapped in steel rods, known as irons.
His legs were twisted and he would suffer regular violent convulsions, but noone knew the cause.
A leading child specialist from England told his parents breaking and re-setting his legs was the only real option, but, based on a recommendation by Barham’s Dr May, the removal of Mr Gannon’s tonsils cured him of the convulsions and eventually his legs straightened.
‘‘I know what it is like to be crippled, and someone once said the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person,’’ Mr Gannon said.
‘‘Riding for the Disabled gives the participants something to look forward to and it gives them some great memories.
‘‘I think we are all in this thing called life together and it’s important to stop and help each other — the world would be a better place.’’
Mr Gannon said anyone looking for fulfilment should volunteer, in any capacity, with any organisation, and said the Cobram and Deniliquin RDA groups were always looking for more help.
Happy bunch: Gordon Gannon from the Cobram RDA with Monica Mentha.