Neil Lonie was awarded Tungamah-St James Citizen of the Year on Friday adding to his Moira Shire’s Citizen of the Year Award.
The Tungamah and District community were up bright and early for the Australia Day celebrations commencing with a delicious breakfast cooked by the members of the Tungamah Lions Club.
A large crowd converged in the park behind the old shire offices with Dennis Gray officiating as MC for the day, on behalf of the CRC group. Councillor Peter Lawless made presentations of Appreciation Certificates to other nominees; John O’Dwyer from Tungamah and Tony Figgins from Yundool.
Presentations were then made to Neil Lonie, the Tungamah-St James Citizen of the Year, and also Jazmin Clark, Young Citizen of the Year. Both recipients spoke very well and were very humble in their awards.
Jazmin has been attending the Cobram and District Specialist School for a number of years. Overcoming challenges, Jazmin made a remarkable contribution to her school community and graduated as Student of the Year.
She makes a great contribution to Lions and Leos having been President and Secretary in both the Cobram on the Murray Leo Club and also the Tungamah Leo Club.
She has developed strong leadership skills, and is a person who helps her community. She has also been a member of the Moira Shire Junior Council.
Jazmin has volunteered through such activities as environmental clean ups, Meals on Wheels, Cobram Anzac Day and Irvine House. She has achieved a very high standard in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Jazmin has several appreciation certificates through Lions and last year was the Lions District Leo of the year runner up. She is also in the process now of joining Tungamah Lions Club.
Neil Lonie is a big hearted man who has done so much for various communities. A strong family man, he runs a highly successful farm with his wife Trish and son, Brett.
The loss of his niece in 2008 inspired him to raise money for the Good Friday Appeal and in just nine years, he has helped raise more than $150,000. Last year he raised $24,000.
Neil has been a member of St James Fire Brigade for 46 years having been 3rd and 4th lieutenant for several years. He is still zone president of the Demo Committee for D22, D23 and D24. He has also held several other positions. Neil is a member of the Tungamah and Dookie Historical Societies as well as the St James Recreation Reserve and Hall Committee.
Neil started Young Farmers in the town as well as donating land for trial work. He was a charter member of the Tungamah Lions Club, where he has returned.
All of Neil’s work within all the service clubs, sporting clubs and the support of facilities such as the St James Hall and emergency services is invaluable to the shire.