Retired police officer Kevin Jones, of Townsend, enjoys being active in the community. He has been awarded an Order of Australia in the Australia Day honours.
Retired police officer Kevin Jones, of Townsend, enjoys being active in the community. He has been awarded an Order of Australia in the Australia Day honours.

Kevin's day of honour

KEVIN Jones says he had no choice but to become entrenched in community life after working for 31 years in the NSW Police Force.

Whether it was setting up a much-needed youth centre and State Emergency Services unit in Wilcannia, or taking on the role of secretary and treasurer of the Maclean and District Agricultural Society, Mr Jones has left his mark on every community he’s lived in.

Today Mr Jones was awarded an Order of Australia for his service to the community through a range of sporting, agricultural and veterans’ organisations.

From his home in Townsend, Mr Jones said he was honoured to receive the award.

Over the years Mr Jones has had friends and colleagues who have been awarded the Order of Australia, but he said it never occurred to him that he too would one day have the letters OAM after his name.

“I just didn’t think I’d ever get it, so it’s a great honour for me to accept it,” he said.

But when you look at the long list of roles Mr Jones has held, it becomes apparent he is a deserving recipient of the award.

Achievements include president of the United Cricket Club for five years, president of the Maclean Ex-Services Club since 2003, director of the Byron Bay Service Club from 1998 to 2001, foundation member and president of the Byron Bay Lions Club in 1995, foundation member and patrol commander of the Wilcannia Rescue Squad and an active member of the bird club of the Maclean and District Agricultural Society.

Mr Jones said his high level of community involvement stemmed from his long career as a police officer and 20 years serving in the army reserves.

“A lot of my transfers around the state were in isolated and small communities, so you get involved in the communities to do your job properly,” he said.

He also said having three children opened up another world of community associations that he couldn’t help but join.

For example, through his son and grandson’s involvement and success at cricket, Mr Jones has become a member of the Lower Clarence Cricket Club and president of the United Cricket Club.

“I just become tied up in these things,” he said.

Now that he’s retired, Mr Jones said he’s cut back on a lot of his voluntary commitments but he still has a few community projects on the go, including his involvement with the Maclean sub-branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia.

“There’s still not a week that goes by that I haven’t got to go to a meeting,” he said.

Mr Jones thanked his family for their unwavering support of his service to the community that would see him attend meeting at night and spend days away from home.

“They’re the ones who put up with me going to all of these things, so I’d like to say a big thank you to my family,” he said.

Some of Mr Williams’ roles over the years:

 Member, United Cricket Club; president for the past five years.

 Member, Lower Clarence Cricket Association.

 Secretary/treasurer, Byron Bay Deep Sea Fishing Club.

 Board member, Wilcannia Golf Club, 1980s.

 Secretary/treasurer, Maclean and District Agricultural Society, 2002-2008; involved in the operation of the Bird Club.

 Welfare officer, Maclean Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL), since 2007; current Leading Member, Commemoration Committee and member since 2001.

 Member, Byron Bay RSL.

 President, Maclean Ex-Services Club, since 2003.

 Welfare officer, Northern Rivers Branch, Retired Police Association of NSW, since 2001.

 Foundation member, 1/19 RNSWR Association, 10 years.

 Director, Byron Bay Services Club 1998-2001; served on various sub-committees during this time.

 Member, Bryon Bay Blue Light Disco, 1990.

 Foundation member and president, Byron Bay Lions Club, 1995.

 Member, Cape Byron Light House Trust.

 President, Wilcannia Lions Club, 1980s.

 Foundation member and Patrol Commander, Wilcannia Rescue Squad.

 President, Corowa and Rutherglen Search and Rescue.

 Member, numerous community organisations in the Cowra area including Lions Club, Anglers Club, Kennel Club, Wagga Wagga Rescue Squad and Blue Light Disco Committee.

 Foundation member, National Federation Festival.

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