Bruce a true community man

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Bruce a true community man

Deserving recipient: Bruce Campbell from Kernot has been honoured with a Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia Medal for meritorious service to the community. Mr Campbell is pictured here with his wife Sheila, whom he said he could have not done any of it without.

THE majority of dedicated people who volunteer hours of their time to their community are the last ones who want to be recognised for it.
Bruce Campbell is no exception.
In fact, the Kernot resident came close to turning down his nomination for a Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia Medal when he first found out, and was admittedly “embarrassed” by the honour.
Mr Campbell is a born and bred Kernot boy, and third generation farmer in the town.
His service to the community is remarkable. He was president of the Shire of Bass Coast on three occasions and a councillor for 18 years. He is a life member of the Kernot Fire Brigade, having been a founding member in 1954.
He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Wonthaggi since 1989, has been an elder of the Kernot Uniting Church since the 1960s, and has also been a member of the Grantville Cemetery Trust for 40 years.
And that is only the beginning of a long list – there are roles on school committees, volunteer work for the Red Cross and a life membership of the Kernot Hall and Reserve Committee also in the mix.
In fact, if you add up all the years of service Mr Campbell has dedicated to the community, it adds up to well over 150 years.
“I feel like that sometimes!” he laughed, adding he has always been happy to help out when needed.
“The district had been good to me, and if I could do any good for the district, I was happy to do it.”
When he first joined council, Mr Campbell said it was purely a love job, with no pay involved.
You could even say it ran in the family; as he said, “it was probably bred in me a bit”.
“Dad was on the council for 25 years and his father was on the council that used to meet at San Remo,” he said.
“It was before the Bass Shire – it was called Phillip Island and Woolamai. They used to meet at San Remo with the full moon because they had to drive home after the council meeting and needed the light.”
Mr Campbell had what he described as “a good run with council”, going in unopposed, and only had to face election once in 18 years when the writings were rearranged.
He was also an enthusiastic fire-fighter as an active member of the local fire brigade for almost 50 years, or at least until things became “too technical” for his liking.
In that time, the brigade only ever lost one house in a bushfire, and sadly, one life while he was captain.
The OAM is not Mr Campbell’s first award; he was given a Centenary Medal in 2001 and an Australia Day Family Achievement Award from the Bass Coast Shire Council only last year.
While he said it is “undoubtedly” an honour to be considered for an OAM, he was surprised to be a recipient, suggesting it is whole townships that rally together to help one another out, rather than the doings of a single person.
“This is what surprised me about this award; it’s possibly an honour for a small town,” he said.
“It’s embarrassing because this was just part of farming and part of life. I think farmers were a bit of a different breed.”
Mr Campbell’s wife Sheila said although they lived a busy life, raising four daughters and running a farm, when it came to volunteering in the community, “you just do it”.
“You don’t like to see things going on that you can’t help with,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Campbell will attend a ceremony at Government House in Melbourne later this year to officially receive Mr Campbell’s medal.
They did, however, celebrate his award at home on Monday, hosting a barbecue at their Kernot home with his fellow Rotarians.

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Posted by on Jun 14 2012. Filed under Community, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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