Fifty years of service to the community

By Olivia Duffey

Long before Colin Jones was a Berrigan Shire Councillor, he was well known in his community as a dedicated volunteer.

He has 50 years of service to the community under his belt, and the 76 year-old says he has no plans to slow down on his volunteering now.

His dedication to the community is why Cr Jones was awarded the 2020 Berrigan Shire Council Citizen of the Year Award at Sunday’s Australia Day ceremony in Tocumwal.

‘‘I felt a bit surprised to be nominated and even more when I won the award, but I am very pleased and humbled to receive it,’’ Cr Jones said.

‘‘However, I feel you are part of an organisation, working with other people to achieve things for the community.

‘‘In the whole shire, there are more than 50 people I can think of who have a part in this award with me, and many more deserving of it.

‘‘As time goes by you tend to forget your contribution until someone brings it up, which is what happened at Sunday’s ceremony.

‘‘It is easy to forget because you don’t do it for yourself, you do it for your community.’’

Cr Jones is a foundation member of the Tocumwal Apex Club, and has served as both president and secretary on several occasions. He was awarded life membership of the service club in 1984.

‘‘Tocumwal Apex was born in the ‘60s when I was in my early 20s and I was a part of that until I reached the compulsory age of retirement from the group – which was 40,’’ he said. 

By 2008 Cr Jones was ready to join another service club, and became involved in Tocumwal Rotary Club.

He has so far served two terms as president and secretary, and he was honoured with a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2014 and a Paul Harris Sapphire in 2019.

As the community service chair for Rotary, Cr Jones is responsible for the orange juice stall at the Foreshore market as well as the Tocumwal Rotary second hand shop. 

These two fundraising activities raise more than $50,000 for the club each year.

‘‘I was asked to join when I was in my early 60s, so semi-retired, and I had time to give it a go,’’ he said.

‘‘It is something I still enjoy.’’

Cr Jones also helped kickstart the Tocumwal Menshed in 2012 and has been a member ever since.

‘‘We got it set up with a couple of grants and it has been a place for men to get together and have a small supportive community and family of their own,’’ he said.

Having played with the Tocumwal Football Club as a teenager, Cr Jones later joined its committee to continue his involvement in the club he loved.  He served on that committee for 16 years.

He was Finley Primary School P&C Committee president for seven years while his children attended, and he helped plant 30,000 trees in the Tocumwal and Finley area as a foundation member and an office bearer of the Fullers Road Landcare Committee.

Cr Jones has also served as secretary of the United Farmers and Woolgrowers Association, and he is also an active committee member for the Tocumwal Foreshore Committee, the Tocumwal

Chamber of Commerce and the Tocumwal Community Development Committee.

As a councillor for the past 12 years, Cr Jones has worked tirelessly within community groups as well as assisting individuals on a day to day basis to meet the community’s needs.

‘‘I thought my use by date had come but I have to keep going,’’ Mr Jones said.

‘‘I would like to say thanks to my wife Robyn who has supported me all the time in everything I have done and every endeavour and adventure I seek.’’