NOEL Loughnan has spent his working life writing about people receiving Queen’s Birthday honours.
He readily admits he never imagined the story would one day be about him.
Think newspapers in Yarrawonga or Corowa and you think of Mr Loughnan.
He had spent 53 years as editor of the Yarrawonga Chronicle when he bowed out in 2011.
He became a co-owner of the business in 1952 and has been the sole owner since 1974.
Mr Loughnan has also spent 33 years as the owner, managing director and editor of the Corowa Free Press.
He has been awarded the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in today’s Queen’s Birthday honours list for his service to both the print media industry and the Yarrawonga-Mulwala community.
“It’s blown me away,” Mr Loughnan said of the award.
“I had no idea about what was happening and it’s come as a complete shock to me.
“I’m very honoured and very humbled about the whole thing.”
Mr Loughnan was quick to pay tribute to the people in his community, who he said deserved the award more than him.
“There are the unsung heroes who go about their work in a quiet manner and without any expectation of recognition, praise or kudos,” he said.
“They’re to be admired, those people — there’s just so many in our community and all communities.”
Mr Loughnan said Yarrawonga-Mulwala was “pretty close-knit” and the amount of voluntary work done in the area “would just blow you away”.
“You don’t hear (about) half of it. People are just so good and have got big hearts,” he said.
“Communities, especially small communities, would be completely lost without that voluntary effort.”
Mr Loughnan said he had gained a great deal of satisfaction over the years from his work in the print media.
In addition to his businesses, Mr Loughnan has also been a member of the NSW Country Press Ass-ociation since 1981.
He served six terms as vice-president and one as deputy president.
Mr Loughnan’s service to the community also incl- udes 40 years as a member of the Rotary Club of Yarrawonga-Mulwala, including time spent as president.