New honours’ recipient Kadina Mayor Paul Thomas’ history of serving the community dates back to when he was 15 years old.
He has been involved with the region’s biennial Cornish commemoration, the Kernewek Lowender Festival, for 40 years.
He has just been named a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ List for his local government and community contributions.
Mr Thomas said his father, David Thomas, a former Wallaroo mayor, had been involved in the festival all those years ago.
“We all got into helping with souvenirs and setting things up and whatever,” he said.
“Ever since then, I have been associated with the festival and can appreciate what it has done for this community.”
Mr Thomas, an accountant, must have had an omen of his award earlier this year when he boarded the Queen Mary II after it berthed at Adelaide.
Ever since I was 15 years old, I have been associated with the Kernewek Lowender Festival and can appreciate what it has done for this community.Paul Thomas, AM
While on council duties, he posed for a photograph with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth in the foyer of the ship. The latest honours’ list is in the queen’s name.
Mr Thomas, of Wallaroo, became a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
He has been mayor with the Copper Coast District Council since 2000. He became a councillor in 1990.
He served as a delegate to local committees including The Farm Shed and Tourism Centre, Yorke Peninsula Tourism, Yorke Regional Development Board and Yorke Mid North Regional Development Board.
He has been chairman of Northern Yorke Peninsula Hospital Board since 2010 and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Northern Yorke Peninsula for more than 25 years, during which time he was made Paul Harris Fellow and has served a term as president.
He has been a board member of the organising committee for the Kernewek Lowender for about 33 years, festival president, since 1997, Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd since 2004 and life member since 2013. He has a Harry Dowling Award for industry contribution, Yorke Peninsula Tourism Awards, in 2014.
Mr Thomas enjoys leading the community of the Copper Coast.