Steve Morgan - Feb 11, 2015 23:59

Bay Islander of the Year awards held at the Sandy Beach Australia Day Regatta 2015

Bay Islander of the Year awards held at the Sandy Beach Australia Day Regatta 2015
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Bay Islander of the year presentations were made toward the end of the day at the Australia Day Regatta 2015. There was more than a good crowd waited around for the winners to receive there awards and help congratulate them.

Meryl Dobe has been named the Australia Day Bay Islander of the Year for her community work including the many hours over many years making sure the Macleay Island Community Library runs smoothly. As well as organizing twice yearly a fund raising event," The Book and Plant Sale" for the library. She also has involvement in the Arts Complex, organizing arts exhibitions every year and work and research in Bush Care and the endangered Black Cockatoo.
Meryl Dobe is a long term resident of Macleay Island, a wonderful grandmother to 6 grandchildren and 4 lovely children. She has been teaching Yoga for 10 years and has been a great support for many here on the Bay Islands.

Al Prestwood a resident of Russell Island was the recipient of the Senior Bay Islander of the Year. Al was also recognised at the Redlands Australia Day Awards with the Environment and Sustainability Award. He said he was humbled by his name on the award and gave credit to others also involved in Bush Care and helping the environment here on the Bay Islands. Al makes a habit of picking up rubbish where ever he goes, often seen early in the morning getting from his bike to make clean the roadside litter or trekking further into the reserves to maintain the environment.
Lochie Hill didn't let the pain of losing his best mate, Ethan go in vain. He rose up and spent many hours collecting signatures for support for footpaths to stop others from tragically losing their lives like Ethan. Lochie's family is very proud of him and how he has shown such strength and courage over this period. As with the other award winners, Lochie gave credit to all those who stood by him and helped with the Safty Awarness Campaign, and the others who stood by him in the presentation to Redlands Council to ensure funding for a footpath the length of Russell Island. Our Councillor Mark Edwards made special comment how his speech to the council had such an impact that the motion was passed unanimously and there was not a dry eye in the house.

The Bay Islander of the Year Awards has been sponsored and supported by Councillor Mark Edwards, The Friendly Bay Islander and the Bay Islands Getaway. A special shield is in the making, with the vision to have it on display in the Redlands Council Chamber. Many thanks to all involved in the Day and the continuing support of all to see this award as an annual event in which to recognise those in the Bay Island community who give of themselves to uplift the spirit of many.