Sporty feel to Iluka?s Australia Day celebrations
By JURIS GRANEY
AUSTRALIA Day in Iluka had a very sporty feel to it.
Not only was long-time Maclean resident William McCarron honoured for 38 years' service to the sporting fraternity, but Col and Val Kempshall were bestowed Iluka's greatest award as citizens of the year.
More than 50 people turned out to the service where country pride and community spirit were on show for all to see.
With plenty of mini Australian flags flying proudly, the local boy scouts troupe began the ceremony by raising the flag at the Community Hall, with local Iluka identity and the semi-retired butcher Ian Russell master of ceremonies.
While the local CWA ladies toiled away in the hall preparing damper and beverages, the Residents of Iluka Association president Kay Jeffery called on the Kempshalls to receive the top award as well as offer a speech.
An emotional Val stoicly stood beside her husband as he thanked the community for the award.
Iluka residents for 28 years, the Kempshalls helped establish the Ken Leeson sports oval, were an integral part of rebirthing the Iluka Cricket Club as well as being long time active members of the golf club.
In her speech, Ms Jeffery said their volunteer work and community spirit made them the perfect couple to receive the award.
"Their compassion and thoughtfulness for others is just outstanding," Ms Jeffery said.
"They not only do all the sporting work, but volunteer with Meals on Wheels and regularly visit Iluka and Woombah residents in Maclean Hospital."
Mr McCarron was stunned to receive the Ernie Muller perpetual trophy from the Lower Clarence Sports Council that honours outstanding service to the sporting community.
After the ceremony Mr McCarron said the feeling was 'fantastic'.
"You can't get better than that," he said.
Mr McCarron has been involved in local junior and senior rugby league as well as cricket since he moved to the area in 1967.