• Loddon Herald

Howard's big day

LIFE-LONG Wedderburn resident Howard Matthews is the 2021 Loddon Shire Citizen of the Year.

The announcement by Cr Gavan Holt at Wedderburn on Tuesday surprised Howard who was sitting to the side of the Oldtimers’ Bandstand after playing the National Anthem on his euphonium.

Howard had been a member of the former Wedderburn Brass Band, later playing with bands in Bendigo and still blowing away with the Charlton-Wycheproof band.

His award citation said:

“Howard has made tireless contributions to the Wedderburn community since being a founding member of the Wedderburn Cycling Club in the 1950s.

“Howard’s service to Wedderburn’s sporting clubs extended to the Wedderburn Band Cricket Club where he scored at both home and away matches for many years, and at the Wedderburn Football Club, where he held the office of secretary from 1964 to 1968, and is one of only three people to take on this role for five consecutive years.

“He has also volunteered at the Wedderburn Golf Club, where his contribution to the club’s course maintenance was always done humbly and dutifully.

“It was at the CFA Region 19 Wedderburn Urban Fire Brigade that Howard’s most significant volunteer service was made. Between 1955 and 1982, Howard held numerous positions including secretary and treasurer from 1969 to 1973, 1st lieutenant from 1973 to 1975, and foreman/apparatus officer from 1961 to 1965. During 27 years of service with the CFA, Howard also attended regular training and competition events.”

Accepting the award, Howard was brief: “Thank you very, very much.”

Howard was soon joined by wife Margaret, family and friends offering their congratulations.

Cr Holt said Howard was a most worthy recipient of the award.

Guest speaker was Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program director and local farmer Jude Hannah. Jude returned to the district after a career in the United States.

Wedderburn Lions Club provided the barbecue.

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