John Munckton has three new letters to sit beside his name.
The Glenaroua local received an Order of Australia Medal for his dedication to the community as part of Monday’s Queen’s Birthday honours.
John said he was humbled by the award but did not understand why he was singled out for recognition when he was just doing his part as a member of the community.
But John has gone above and beyond as a dedicated community member..
The 69-year-old was a councillor in the former Shire of Pyalong for 14 years, has been a member of the Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society since 1974 and Glenaroua CFA for almost 50 years.
He also served as president in all those organisations.
And if that wasn’t enough, he has also been involved with the Pyalong Water Board, on the committee and president of the Victorian Wines Show, the vice-president of the Seymour Branch of the Graziers Association, a member of the Seymour State School Council, a member of the Loddon-Campaspe Regional Planning Authority and other organisations.
Growing up in Glenaroua, John didn’t see any reason to leave a part of the world he was so passionate about and took on the family farm where he still lives.
John said he was bemused by the recognition because his volunteering, like so many other locals, was inspired by the sense of duty to give back to a community that had treated him well.
‘‘All my time volunteering hasn’t felt like I was working because I’ve enjoyed it,’’ he said.
‘‘Things like the Agricultural Society are dear to my heart because I grew up going to their events.That was the family fun for country people.’’
As for his almost five decades in the CFA, John said that was just him pulling his weight in the long tradition of country people helping each other.
‘‘Part of taking care of each other is everyone pulling their weight and pitching in. That was my thinking behind joining and staying in the CFA,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m extremely humbled by the award but I wish there could be recognition for everyone in the small army that makes our area a great place to live.’’