Queen?s man ?humbled
By EMMA CORNFORD
BEFORE each meeting of the Maclean Returned Servicemen's League sub-branch, Townsend man Alan Stanborough would swear allegiance to the Queen.
Now the tables have turned somewhat, and he is being honoured on the Queen's Birthday list as a recipient of an Order of Australia medal.
The 77-year-old navy veteran served in Korea and Malaya and has been an RSL member since 1964. He said he never expected to receive the award.
"I was very surprised and I feel rather humbled," he said.
"It is something that came totally out of the blue. You don't do this work for profit or reward, you just do it to help people ... so I never expected anything like this."
Mr Stanborough received his award for the 12 years of service he provided war veterans in the Lower River, through his work with the Maclean RSL sub-branch.
"There was a great need there about 12 years ago to help the ageing veterans and provide them with services that could help them get their pensions and that kind of thing," he said.
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"When I was elected as president we started taking courses in advocacy and how to get pensions and all that kind of thing so we could help those elderly ex-servicemen," Mr Stanborough said.
"But it was never just me.
"Rod McPhee was a great help as well and so were all the other chaps there."
Before retiring from the Maclean Returned Servicemen's League sub-branch board in February, Mr Stanborough served as vice-president of the organisation from 2004.
Prior to that, he held the position of sub-branch president from 1995 until 2003, and had been a delegate to North Coast District Council since 1995.
Now retired from his work with the Returned Servicemen's league, Mr Stanborough said he and his wife Betty were finally relaxing.
"Yes, it was a bit sad when it all finished.
"The work was rewarding, so when you stop ... you're at a bit of a loss at what to do with yourself, but I think it's time for us to both take time out and smell the roses."