RECOGNISED: The nominees for the Gympie Senior Citizen of the Year Awards at the Civic Centre yesterday with (back, from left) Mayor Mick Curran were Lee Hodgson, Barry Grainger, Ilpo Rapatti, Dudley Fisher, Councillor Mal Gear, (front, from left) Joan Adcock, Betty Cartmill, Lynette Milnes, Valerie Neal, Dorothy Pascoe and Moya Beck. Absent were Ann Rigbye and Yvonne Manger.
RECOGNISED: The nominees for the Gympie Senior Citizen of the Year Awards at the Civic Centre yesterday with (back, from left) Mayor Mick Curran were Lee Hodgson, Barry Grainger, Ilpo Rapatti, Dudley Fisher, Councillor Mal Gear, (front, from left) Joan Adcock, Betty Cartmill, Lynette Milnes, Valerie Neal, Dorothy Pascoe and Moya Beck. Absent were Ann Rigbye and Yvonne Manger.

24 Pictures from the Gympie Senior Citizens Awards

A LINE of wheelie-walkers lined the Gympie Civic Centre yesterday as their owners sipped tea and nibbled on sandwiches and biscuits ahead of the Senior Citizens of the Year Awards.

little kids big day out

Held annually, the awards recognise a male and female, aged 60 and over, who have made a significant contribution in the past year to the Gympie region. The winners were Lee Hodgson and Barry Grainger.

Cooloola Arts Society 40 year celebration with the Queensland Governor. Art Society members admire the celebratory cake made by Deana Liddle.  Yvonne Manger, Cecile Steenbergen, Lee McGruer, Violette Jameson OAM, Lyn Ballantyne.
Photo Tanya Easterby / Gympie Times
Yvonne Manger (left) was also nominated, but unable to attend. Tanya Easterby

Mr Grainger said the win is the perfect end to his lengthy volunteer career with the Mary Valley Show which last weekend celebrated its 100th Show. Mr Grainger has been associated with the Show for more than 50 years but is now retiring to let younger people move up the ranks.

Ann Rigbye
Ann Rigbye was also nominated but unable to attend. Troy Jegers

"It was unexpected,” Mr Grainger said of the win, "but it certainly makes it a great way to go out.”

Mrs Hodgson moved to Curra in 2001 from Brisbane and immediately knew she wanted to be involved in her local community.

She started to volunteer for the Gympie Regional Library, taking books to members of the community who have mobility issues and cannot get out on their own.

She also dedicated a number of years to Gympie Meals on Wheels and was involved with the Curra Community Association and the Curra Country Club were she really enjoyed teaching children from four to 14 years old to learn to play tennis.

Other organisations she has been involved in include the Cooinda Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary, Senior Citizens Hall Committee and The View Club.

These days she is also heavily involved with the Older Women's Network, both with the Gympie chapter and the Queensland association.

"I'm still a bit gobsmacked,” Mrs Hodgson said yesterday of the win.

"It means a lot to me, not because I don't deserve it but because you don't volunteer to receive anything,” she said.

"The reward you get is seeing that they (people being helped) get so much out of it. I don't deserve it any more than all the other nominees in there today,” she said.

Ten of the twelve nominees were present at the annual morning tea, catered for by Avalon Fare and served by 13 Certificate I Hospitality students from Victory College.

The assembly was serenaded first by Sound Council, a band made up of employees from the Gympie Regional Council, and by senior singing group, The Gympie Songbirds.