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Arthur humbled by honour

Arthur Holmes has been awarded the OAM for his selfless work in the community.
Arthur Holmes has been awarded the OAM for his selfless work in the community. John Gass

THE Tweed region has shown its worth in the shape of four incredible men who have been recognised with Order of Australia medals.

The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established in1975 by Elizabeth II for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service.

Arthur Holmes from Murwillumbah, squadron leader John Parker from Tweed Heads West, Reginald Arnold from Banora Point and Donald Whitworth of Tweed Heads have been recognised for such service.

Mr Holmes has been encouraging young people in the arts for over 27 years, with many of them going on to gain fame in places like The Royal Ballet and Broadway.

"I'm so surprised and yet humbled in being given this honour," he said.

"It's wonderful to get something so prestigious for doing things that bring me joy and give me so much pleasure."

"But I certainly didn't do it all by myself.

"I have a wonderful family backing me and have worked with some pretty amazing people."

The stoic thespian has terminal cancer, yet is quick with a quip and to look on the humorous side of his mortality.

"I've hung in long enough to hear that I have been awarded the OAM," he said.

"I guess I'll have to hang in a bit longer to receive the award later in the year," he laughed.

Mr Holmes has been president of the Murwillumbah Festival of performing Arts since 1995, officially hanging up his hat this year, yet still having a huge input as the many organisers of this year's festival call on his expertise.

He organises music programs and productions at Tweed Heads South Public School, was a teacher's aid at South Tweed Preschool for 27 years, a member of the Lions Club of Murwillumbah and has been Citizen of the Year.

He has gained the Paul Harris Fellow award and an education award through Children's Week for outstanding commitment to the welfare of children and young people in the community.

And now, a well-deserved OAM.

Congratulations and "break a leg," Mr Holmes

Topics:  order of australia medal


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