By Helen Tatchell
“I’m an Australia Day Ambassador because this is my country, not by birth, but where I live,” George Ermer told the crowd at Moorabool’s civic ceremony at the Bacchus Marsh hall.
Mr Ermer arrived from Hungary in 1950 at just age 13; in 1954 he became an Australian Citizen.
Becoming nationalised Mr Ermer said was his proudest day and still treasures the memory 65-years later.
“I congratulate all those who are becoming new citizens and treasure the moment.
“There is one four-letter word we need to say more….LOVE,” he said.
Nine people became Moorabool’s newest Australian Citizens last Saturday along with presentations for outstanding service to the local community over a number of years.
Moorabool Mayor Cr Paul Tatchell asked everyone to take a moment to reflect what a great country we have and live in.
“….. a picture of wealth and spirit in our tapestry of diverse culture,” he said.
“Our CEO Mr Derek Madden is Irish, conducting his first Australia Day ceremony; we do have a multi-cultural society and there is no greater privilege than Australia Day to conduct a citizenship ceremony.
“No particular person is Australian, we are one, that is important.”
Bernardine Gloury, Grant Hopkinson, Mamta Murkute, Dorothy Umarekar, Ian, Roseann, Lauren and Chloe O’Brien and Paul Zammit all took the Australian Citizenship Pledge-sworn under oath before family, friends and community members.
Cr Tatchell presented Certificates of Appreciation to those nominated in all categories:
The Young Citizen of the Year Appreciation – Madi Addison, Thomas Bamford, Jasmin Crampin, Ryan Enever, Abbey Kick, Bryce Pace and Emilly Wallis.
Community Event of the Year Category Appreciation – Anne Eskdale (Love is in the Air fundraiser) and Kevin Harper (Ballan Autumn Festival)
Citizen of the Year Appreciation – Gloria Whitfield
Mayoral Award – Naomi Carr
Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Samantha Bradfield.
Community Event of the Year was awarded to Bacchus Marsh RSL Avenue of Honour Centenary Celebration, accepted by Bruce and Cherrison Lawton.
Citizen of the Year – Kevin Harper
And if it wasn’t more Australian to hear the ‘aussie, aussie, aussie’ chant, the Performing Arts Headquarters (Grant street Bacchus Marsh) performed toe tapping songs from iconic Australian bands Cold Chisel, Silver Chair and the Hoodoo Gurus.
Councillors Keogh, Bingham and Edwards were in attendance alongside Catherine King (Federal Member for Ballarat), Stephen McGhie (Member for Melton) and Michaela Settle (Member for Buninyong). Councillors Dudzik, Toohey and Sullivan were apologies.