Australia Day Celebrations were a little different this year.
We were not able to go to Weroona Park Stanthorpe and hold a BBQ as in previous years.  Covid and weather stopped us.
This year the Council asked that Rotarians be there to hand out the food packages to guests at the Awards Ceremony.  Which we were delighted to do.
There was also an added moment of pride for our Stanthorpe Rotary Club as we witnessed our Club Member Frances Hodgson receive Citizen of the Year Award – Southern Region.
The newspaper Warwick.Stanthorpe Today News article is abridged here.
“Fran is being honoured for her distinguished career in education and a tireless pursuit of community endeavours. 
As an active Rotarian for 25 years, Fran has been honoured with not one but two Paul Harris Fellowships over the years.  Notably, her volunteer work through Rotary during the drought was a lifeline to affected rural families, organising laundry vouchers, food hampers and free BBQs.
Fran’s commitment to the community is also evident through her services as President to Stanthorpe Meals on Wheels and has personally delivered Meals on Wheels for 25 years.
Fran is also President of Stanthorpe Community Development Services Neighbourhood Centre.  This Service provides food hampers to at-risk families, is a hub providing access to social workers, youth workers, counsellors, legal aid etc.  The organisation runs Kids Korner providing occasional childcare services.
Fran is still very active in her hometown of Wallangara.  Currently treasurer and long term member of Wallangara Jennings Progress Association, Fran has been instrumental in securing several significant grants for improvement projects in her town including volunteering at Driver Reviver.
Fran is also known for her international volunteer work and empathy for the disadvantaged.  She volunteered for three years as a missionary teacher in one of the poorest central Pacific Ocean countries, Kiribati.  Her ongoing work and fundraising for South African orphans and HIV sufferers puts her at what our Local Mayor Vic Pennisi said.  “The Australia Day Awards are an opportunity to recognise and say thanks to the members of our community who go above and beyond the call of duty, driven by a genuine and selfless desire to make a difference”.
Congratulations Fran – a truly inspirational Rotarian and Community person.