Bob Reid is the ultimate volunteer - a quiet achiever who seems to be ever-present at committee meetings, fund-raisers or happily behind the counter at charity op-shops or Rotary barbecue stalls.
His countless hours of service to the community since 1978 in the areas of health, tourism, heritage and charity work were recognised by being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), but in accepting the honour he told the Gazette it is dedicated to all fellow Blue Mountains volunteers.
"That's because one can't do this without the help of others," he said.
"It is an honour to have been nominated from somebody in the community and it is a humbling experience to receive such an award.
"If it wasn't for my wife and family supporting me, I wouldn't have been able to achieve these things."
Mr Reid is most well-known in Blackheath for his role as president of the town's annual Rhododendron Festival, keeping it alive and growing during challenging times between 2004 and 2010 and continuing to play a role in it today by running the festival's art show.
His role in advancing the local tourism and hospitality industry through leadership roles from director to president level with Blue Mountains Tourism (1982-2004), Blue Mountains Accommodation Association (since 1983) and as a senior teaching staff member in the tourism department at TAFE colleges (1986-1998) was recognised in 2003 when he received the NSW Tourism Award for outstanding contribution to regional tourism by an individual.
A Rotary member since 1978, Mr Reid served multiple terms as president of Blackheath Rotary Club and Upper Blue Mountains Sunrise Rotary Club and became a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow in 2004.
In health circles Mr Reid is a Trustee of Blue Mountains Health Trust, he served as director and vice president of Blue Mountains Cancer Help and still volunteers at its North Katoomba op-shop and he is a district member on the Australian Rotary Health committee.
He was also patron of the Mount Victoria Historical Society between 1990 and 2011.
"Volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences, particularly in your own community," Mr Reid said.
"The Blue Mountains needs more people to volunteer their services to give support to people who need looking after."