BENALLA resident Bill Gregory has achieved a lot during his 92 years.
Mr Gregory, was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM), for giving his time to groups including the Benalla fire brigade, RSL, primary school committee and bowls club.
His time with the CFA – which spanned 46 years – has been one of the more rewarding experiences.
“The fire brigade was very interesting,” he said.
“I look back and hear the fire siren going now and I think god, I don’t know if I could make the grade now.”
Mr Gregory, whose real name is Milton, was called to fires “at all hours of the day and night”.
“I was one of the senior firemen so it was a case of me always being there,” he said.
“The early morning jobs weren’t all that flash.”
The former soldier said he became involved with various organisations as a way of meeting people in isolated communities.
“My dad was a station master and we spent an average of 2½ years at the stations he was appointed to,” he said.
“It was a case of living in a community where we were isolated a lot.
“I was always the sort of kid who sat in the background and didn’t push myself.
“I thought there was a time to push myself and do something, which is when I took up the challenge of being chairman of the organisations.”
Mr Gregory has lived in towns including Murtoa, Robinvale, Bet Bet and Westmere.
“It’s been a hectic life, but it’s been one that I’ve enjoyed,” he said.
“I’m very excited to receive the Order of Australia.
“It’s certainly a surprise and it’s something I didn’t expect at my age.”