GARY Poidevin doubts he could have achieved what he did without his family’s sacrifices.
Whenever he was out on Corowa Council business, his wife, Christine, was at home being both mum and dad to their three now grown-up children.
“I’ve spent over half my life in local government and they’ve allowed me to do what I really love doing,” he said.
“Christine’s had to bear the load for both of us.”
Mr Poidevin has been awarded the medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in today’s Queen’s Birthday honours list for his service to local government and to the Corowa community.
“When I got the letter about the award I was over the moon,” he said.
The Corowa businessman said the honour continued a family tradition — his father Gordon got the same gong 28 years ago, again for community service.
“I never, ever thought that I’d get as high an award as he’s ever received.”
It is just two years since Mr Poidevin bowed out of local politics, ending a 32-year stint as a councillor that began in 1980.
That time included two long stints as mayor — the first from 1995 to 2002, then from 2004 to 2010.
His other achievements have included being president of the Corowa Race Club and Corowa Federation Festival Committee, as well as volunteering with the Corowa Search and Rescue Squad since 1978.
He is also a life member of the squad, as well as the Corowa Swimming Club.
Mr Poidevin said he was Corowa born and bred and everything he had done was for the community.
“I just want to see Corowa grow into a better place; that’s been my aim my whole life — to make things better for everybody else,” he said.
“The older you get you can look back and reflect on things that have happened, that you’ve been part of,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of wonderful achievements over the time.
“You feel proud that you’ve been part of it.”