Col Rathbone, Kiama’s Citizen of the Year, is someone who gets involved in causes with an enthusiasm that never wanes.
For example, he has been President of the Kiama & District Sports Association since 1980, shortly after he and his family moved here.
He’s also a long time fundraiser and volunteer for the Red Cross, Friends of Blue Haven and Friends of Vision Australia.
But, with Col, there always seems room for more. When the Centenary of ANZAC was approaching, he not only was the driving force behind the creation of the Kiama Light Horse but was one of the horsemen.
Since 2014, the troop has remained a feature of Kiama ANZAC parades.
This year he is beginning preparations for commemorating the Charge of Beersheba, the last calvary charge ever, in October.
Mayor Mark Honey says Col is a worthy recipient of the Award.
“Col is a highly-respected member of the community, who is approachable, uncomplicated and helpful, with the patience and willingness to go ‘above and beyond’ when required.”
Col is originally from Griffith and was the manager of the Cakuna Timberyard in Shoalhaven Street for many years.
As someone who loves to help others, he wants to encourage others to get involved too.
“You get a lot out of it yourself from helping people out,” he says. “It’s good to see the difference just a little bit of effort can make.”
Imogen Bakewell, Kiama’s Young Citizen of the Year, is showing early indications of commitment to the community through her leadership roles.
The Australia Day address was given by local artist Megan Seres, winner of the 2016 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, who argued the case for Kiama initiating its own art prize (see article on page 5).