Premier's Volunteer Recognition Award for six Forbes locals

Six Forbes locals have been honoured with the Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Award.

Member for Orange Phil Donato thanked Bob and Rosemary Lee, Paddy Molloy, Ray Lasserre, Nancy Parry and Veva MacCullagh for their extraordinary contribution to the community at a presentation on Friday afternoon.

“I am pleased to present the Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Program Award to these incredible volunteers, who have each played a significant role in the Forbes community,” Mr Donato said.

“These volunteers have made a positive impact in the lives of many local people. It’s an honour for me to be able to recognise their contribution.

“Thank you ... and congratulations on your award.”

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Bob and Rosemary Lee

Bob and Rosemary Lee have given 60 years of volunteer service to the Forbes Harness Racing Club. 

The couple have been stalwarts of the club nearly since its inception, while farming, working and raising seven daughters.

They’ve shared their passion for the sport with the next generations, many of their children and grandchildren remain heavily involved both in racing and in running the Forbes club.  

Bob first became involved in the club alongside his parents when he was 21.

Over the 60 years since, he and Rosemary have done most jobs around the track including weighing drivers, operating the mobile start and running the canteen. 

They were surrounded by family at Friday afternoon’s presentation at the Forbes Council Chambers, and overwhelmed to receive the recognition. 

“We didn’t expect this,” Mrs Lee said in accepting her certificate and pin from Mr Donato.

The Lees are also breeders, owners and trainers of horses, still enjoying success around the tracks.

Bob became Australia’s oldest winning trainer in 2015 when his horse Sure What Ever won at Dubbo.

Rosemary continues to train alongside her grandsons who drive for her.

Paddy Molloy and Ray Lasserre

Ray Lasserre and Paddy Molloy have been volunteering at Jemalong Residential Village and Mater Aged Care for almost 40 years, bringing music and cheer to the residents every month.

The duo has been performing country music for the residents (as well as many other events in the community) for decades. 

They were honoured to be presented with the Premier’s recognition for volunteering for 40 years last Friday.

Mr Molloy, who was named Forbes’ Citizen of the Year in 2016, is now in his 90s and has just retired from his regular performances.

Mr Lasserre, in his 80s, has been “carting sound gear around since 1979 and I really enjoy it”. 

“It’s a great thing, to be able to do this sort of thing,” Mr Lasserre said at Friday’s presentation.

“Everyone is happy when we start playing and singing.” 

Nancy Parry

Nancy Parry has been volunteering at JRV for about 18 years and was acknowledged for being one of those people who would put her hand up to help with any task. 

She volunteers with both the wellness group and the sewing group, is one of the ladies who help wash and set residents’ hair and bakes for the other volunteers too. 

Veva MacCullagh

Veva MacCullagh was presented with her Premier’s acknowledgement for her work at JRV, which ranges from serving drinks and organising entertainment during happy hour to running computer classes.

The computer classes not only open up the world of technology to residents, but provide a great source of entertainment with amusing emails and jokes. 

Veva also runs tai chi classes for arthritis and ballroom dancing for the residents.