Power 30 switched on electricity for Bill
"ELECTRICITY in the air” was the way owner of the second spot on the inaugural The Daily Examiner Power 30 described the room when the announcement was made.
Mr Dougherty said he was honoured and humbled at the same time to be considered among the key influencers in the region.
"Actually I got a bit of ribbing when the news first got out,” he said.
"But overall it was a good innovation to acknowledge the roles our leading figures have played.”
His record as a key figure in the life of the Clarence spanning 70 years automatically made him a contender for the title.
"It was a good thing the Examiner has done for the region,” Mr Dougherty said.
"It was interesting to read the stories behind the personalities featured. Those stories behind the personalities are more important than the people involved in a lot of cases.”
Last year, Mr Dougherty relinquished his place on the board at Clarence Village, almost the last public role he has played in his long involvement with the local community.
"The only role I have now is with the (Clarence River) Historical Society,” he said.
"Being involved with history now seems to be the right thing to do.”
Mr Dougherty's back story of involvement in the Clarence Valley began after World War II when his name appeared in the paper's sports pages for his exploits as a young surf lifesaver, a dashing fullback for the Grafton All Blacks and as a local bookmaker.
Although the arrival of the first of his children ended his football career, Mr Dougherty continued his involvement with the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club for decades, including a period as club president in the 1970s.
Over the years his name progressed to the front pages with his involvement in the community as a pillar of the local Catholic Church, Grafton City councillor, real estate agent, hotelier, financier and aged care founder.
Bill and wife Dot also contribute tirelessly to charitable work in the region.