Bruce Robinson a community achiever

Community achievement award recipient Bruce Robinson (centre) with Weddin mayor Mark Liebich and Australia Day ambassador Sandra Ireson.
Community achievement award recipient Bruce Robinson (centre) with Weddin mayor Mark Liebich and Australia Day ambassador Sandra Ireson.

Bruce Robinson was the recipient of a Community Achievement Award at Grenfell’s Australia Day celebrations on Friday.

Accepting the award Mr Robinson said he had spent his life in Grenfell.

“My ancestors came here 20 years before Grenfell gold was discovered.

“It’s my country, I’ve worked a lot with so many people.

“Unpaid volunteers are what keep communities going.

“It has been a great pleasure for me to spend time with those people,” Mr Robertson said.

Bruce has lived all his 91 years in the Weddin Shire, and during that time has contributed to the community in many ways. 

While he was farming at Piney Range, and while his children went to school at Quandialla, Bruce was a member of the Quandialla P&C, serving as President and Secretary at various times. 

During this time the teacher units were built in Quandialla, and Bruce was one of the many locals to help. 

He also participated in many working bees around the school, and volunteered to assist at various fundraising activities such as movie nights (Bruce recalls travelling to Temora to collect the seats for the improvised theatre). 

Bruce was made a Life Member of the Quandialla P&C. 

During this time, he also helped lay the cement cricket pitch at Quandialla Central School, and coached the primary team. 

Bruce was a member of the Bimbi Bush Fire Brigade for over 50 years, and was also an active member of the Quandialla Show Society where he was the Chief Sheep Steward for many years, and his freshly-washed red truck was the stage for many Showgirl competitions. 

Bruce has also been the President of the South West Slopes Merino Association, Secretary of the Weddin Mountains Sprint Racing Association and a Committee Member for the NSW Sprint Racing Association. 

He served a term as the Vice President of the Henry Lawson High School P&C and judged the wool competition at the Grenfell Show.

In the late 1980s when Bruce retired and moved to Grenfell, he joined the Grenfell Historical Society. 

He served as President for 11 years, and during this time his major achievements included: 

- Recording and formalising the history of the Japanese Flag captured by paratroopers when the Japanese were driven out of Singapore, and helping to organize a reunion in Grenfell for the surviving paratroopers; 

- Compiling a list of over 200 Weddin Shire graves located outside of recognized cemetaries; 

- Coordinating the building of fences around the Bogolong Graves and the Dicks Bridge Graves (Turland family); 

- Writing the history of Seaton’s Farm (and consulting with NSW National Parks on the restoration of Seaton’s Farm), and the History of the O’Brien’s Hill Goldmine; and;

- Hosting and coordinating many bus tours around the Weddin Shire, particularly in conjunction with the Henry Lawson Festival. 

For the Centenary of Federation celebrations, Bruce produced and co-edited the book People of the Weddin Shire, and was the proud recipient of a Centenary of Federation medal issued by the Federal Government. 

In recent years, Bruce has co-written a history of the Bimbi War Memorial (including biographies of all those listed on the memorial), a history of the Robinson family and is currently researching and writing a history of the Markham and Simpson families. 

Bruce was made a Life Member of the Grenfell Historical Society, and continues to provide information on local history to anyone who asks for assistance.