Kyabram's Citizen of the Year for 2012 Denis Wood continues to offer a helping hand.
It is almost a year since Denis Wood was announced as Kyabram’s Citizen of the Year for 2012.
Traditionally, the recipient of the Citizen of the Year award does not know of their success until the Australia Day presentation is made.
However, last year Mr Wood had to be told in advance as he and wife Doreen already had flights booked to visit the UK to meet up with their daughter Suzanne and first grandson Jude, who was two-months-old at the time.
‘‘Doreen knew about the award but had kept it a secret. I was completely dumbfounded when I was told,’’ Mr Wood said.
To ensure telephone conversations did not give away the surprise, Mrs Wood and Ray Wade, who nominated Mr Wood for the award, devised a code to be used in any discussion about it.
Despite being on the other side of the world for Australia Day last year, the couple still marked the occasion by wearing Australian hats while travelling around London on its iconic red buses.
This year they will be meeting up with family in Australia to celebrate Australia Day.
Mr Wood said it has been a great honour to be Kyabram’s Citizen of the Year for the past year.
‘‘I was asked to draw the winning numbers for the annual Kyabram Charities Raffle, which is something the Citizen of the Year always does, and I’ve also sat on the panel which decides who is to receive the honour next,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of people have spoken to me about having my face on the front cover of the local phonebook.
‘‘I’ve been telling them recently, my 12 months as Citizen of the Year may nearly be up, but I’ll still be on the phonebook for a few months yet.’’
Mr Wood was nominated for last year’s award due to his voluntary work, particularly his role as president of St Vincent de Paul, Kyabram, which he said he would be continuing in this year.
‘‘It’s been fairly busy year and certainly a tough one for some people,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve met some who have been quite emotional due to the difficulties they are experiencing.
‘‘I hope 2013 is a better year for them.’’
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