Barrie Winzar has been named this year’s Goornong Citizen of the Year.By Elaine Cooney
Barrie Winzar was recognised for his extensive community work when he was named Goornong’s Citizen of the Year on the weekend.
‘‘I’m feeling very humble but I’m a bit past it,’’ he said.
‘‘It was in recognition for my past services.’’
He recently left the Goornong area and moved to White Hills to more easily care for his wife Bev.
Mr Winzar grew up in Fosterville and Goornong and moved back during his latter years.
He left Goornong in 1956 when he finished teaching college and national service, with a stint of teaching at Elmore Primary School.
He then went on to become principal at Stratford in East Gippsland.
With a keen interest in multicultural affairs, he taught English to foreigners.
His love of languages led him to spend two years teaching in the South Pacific.
Mr Winzar and his family moved to Kyabram in 1973 where he took up the post of principal and in 1976 moved back to Goornong and became principal of a primary school in White Hills.
Mr and Mrs Winzar and their three children, Reta, Terry and Tina, lived on a family farm in Goornong, although Mr Winzar did not have much time to help due to his full-time career.
He retired in 1993 and threw himself into volunteering in community activities, becoming secretary of Goornong Fire Brigade and spending time improving Goornong and Fosterville.
One project was the restoration of a bridge between Axedale and Barnadown which was on the edge of four former shires.
He said it had been neglected for a number of years until it was finally closed.
Mr Winzar believed it was essential infrastructure as it was the only river crossing between Axedale and Barnadown which might need to be crossed during an emergency such as a fire and for commercial traffic.
After many years lobbying local and state government, the bridge was reinstated by a joint effort between Campaspe Shire and City of Greater Bendigo with support from the CFA.
He also set up an environmental review committee to regulate the Fosterville Goldmine.
‘‘We wanted to make sure that the community and the environment was forefront in their consideration,’’ he said.
Every year he holds a party for former Fosterville residents and plays in a family band called Winzar Boys, whose members write their own songs.
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