[Citizen of the Year Award] [Friends of the Library]
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Val Tilbrook and family at the Australia Day awards
26/01/04 for the Clare & Gilbert Valleys Citizen of the Year awards.


From left Jamie, Greg, Val, Paul, Felicity & Che Tilbrook

AUSTRALIA DAY 2004

(My acceptance speech for my Citizen of the Year award)

Well…this is one weekend I’ll never forget. My family came together on Saturday to celebrate my 70th birthday, and now…this…in this lovely park given to us by Diana Christison in 1947. I’m a 4th generation Clareite on my mother’s side, and proud of it. And I’m the 4th member of our Clare Regional History Group to receive this award, following Gerald Lally, Win Johnson and Helen Perry.

I always wanted to be a private secretary or an actress and achieved both in small ways, working for Alex Knappstein, F.Pink & Sons and 44 years for H.R.Sanders. My first volunteer job was as secretary of the Clare Hardcourts Tennis and I’ve been a secretary ever since.

I am fortunate and have been privileged to have been involved in many interesting projects over the years, i.e. appearing on the Adelaide stage with Barbara Long in a festival of one-act plays; as foundation secretary of the Clare Branch of the Arts Council, when we were able to bring some wonderful shows to Clare, from all over the world, many direct from the Adelaide Festival of Arts, exciting shows like the Kalaksheetra Dancers of Madras who brought a huge tub of yoghurt with them and we stored it in the Golden North cool room; great artists like Winifred Atwell and Kamahl. Back then we could seat 636 in the Clare Town Hall. When the hall was first built the capacity was 850. Now it is about 400. It’s called progress.

I’ve met many interesting people through my time with the Clare Tourist office and when taking tours over Martindale Hall.

More recently I was involved with the CR History Group in the production of a Federation CD Rom and the publication of a book in memory of Bob Noye; then there was the opening of the Light Horse Memorial building on the Clare Oval. In October the Martindale Friends will co-host the National Parks forum here in Clare. I wish to thank the Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council, the people who nominated me, and all my friends who work with me on various committees; National Trust, History Group, Light Horse Memorial Project, Friends of the Library, Clare Heartbeat, Martindale Friends and the Spring Garden Festival.

I enjoy my volunteer work and love living in Clare.