Tuesday morning at 9am started wet for the Australia Day celebrations in Iluka – like clockwork the rain moved in just before the Iluka school captain and deputy school captain raised the Australian flag.
The crowd of about 70 moved into the Iluka community hall for the acknowledgement to country, singing of the anthem and Australia Day prayer.
The morning was also to celebrate an extraordinary Iluka resident Bill Donsworth.
Bill was awarded Iluka Citizen of the Year.
Bill now 92, moved to Iluka in 1976 and bought a trawler called Nautilus and worked it with his sons until his retirement.
He was also senior vice president of the Clarence River Fisherman’s Co-op and instrumental in the construction of the Iluka slipway.
In 1983 Bill was a founding member of the Iluka Coast Guard and a long time radio operator ensuring both recreational and professional fishermen made it home from sea safely.
It was only in 2008 that Bill finally put the radio handset down because of failing health.
Bill gave a speech, acknowledging the great support of his wife Doreen and said he enjoyed his volunteer work in Iluka and couldn’t have done it without her.
The morning was a collaborative effort organised by the Iluka Rotary, the CWA and the Association of Iluka residents (AIR).