Honouring our heroes, our community spirit

Springwood Foundation Day offered its usual buzz on Saturday with spectacular dance displays, funky music, a colourful grand parade, and carnival rides — but there was an extra ingredient that proved very close to the heart.

At the official opening ceremony, Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill reflected on the heroes of the devastating fires that swept through Springwood, Winmalee and Yellow Rock less than six months ago.

In front of a large and supportive crowd, he presented certificates of appreciation to eight key groups involved in the local recovery effort.

Clr Greenhill said “this festival celebrates the spirit of Springwood and there has been no greater test to that spirit than October’s bushfires — our community passed that test”.

“There will be tests ahead but can I say as your mayor that our council is absolutely honoured to assist you.

“It [the bushfire] was an unprecedented natural disaster in the Blue Mountains and NSW history — no single event has taken so many homes.

“Today is an opportunity for us to say thanks for the extraordinary efforts of a small band of people. To express our collective gratitude for their efforts, bravery and skill. They rose to the occasion to help a community in crisis.”

Recipients included Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service district manager David Jones, Blue Mountains Police commander Superintendent Darryl Jobson and Fire and Rescue NSW Blue Mountains zone commander Superintendent Lindsay West. 

Also acknowledged were Blue Mountains State Emergency Service (SES) deputy local controller Michael Biber, Ambulance NSW Nepean/Blue Mountains zone manager Murray Traynor and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Blue Mountains area manager Alan Henderson.

The mayor also presented awards to Springwood Sports Club manager Barri Morland, Springwood Presbyterian Church Minister Richard Lee and Phil Koperberg for his vital role as Blue Mountains bushfire recovery co-ordinator.

Foundation Day Volunteer Awards were also presented by Foundation Day committee member Colleen Kime to four deserving locals — Ari Roberts (Blue Mountains SES and the Red Shield Appeal), Ken Hambly (secretary for Lower Mountains Fund Raising Events), Janne Bent (Blue Mountains Sister City Committee and Blue Mountains RFS) and Margaret Smith (St Vincent de Paul in Springwood and St Thomas Aquinas Church).

Proceeds from this year’s festival will go to community groups including Springwood and Winmalee Neighbourhood Centres.

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