The Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association has been awarded the inaugural Fergus Thomson OAM Heritage Award.
The award was presented to the association’s president, Steve Shields, by the late Mr Thomson’s wife, Yvonne Thomson.
Ms Thomson was joined by her son, Councillor James Thomson, Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes and Member for Bega Andrew Constance at the Eurobodalla Shire Council Chamber to recognise the Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association’s outstanding contribution to Eurobodalla’s history and heritage.
Ms Thomson praised the group for promoting the shire’s agricultural and industrial stories to a wider audience.
“The Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association is an icon of our community,” she said. “Don’t we all have fond recollections of that familiar whir and ‘putt-putt-bang’ at the agricultural show and other local events.
“Ferg used to love seeing them out and having a chat with the members. He recognised many of the machines as being operated by his father on the family farm so it’s fitting the association is the first recipient of the award.”
Fergus Thomson OAM served Eurobodalla Shire Council for many years as a councillor and Mayor, including time as Heritage Advisory Committee chair. He was instrumental in establishing the shire’s first heritage study during the 1990s.
Other finalists for the award included historian and author Shirley Jurmann, and Peter Smith, known for writing about the region’s pioneering horsemen and the Clarke brothers’ gang of bushrangers.
Heritage Advisory Committee chair Maureen Nathan said it was a tough choice for selectors with many deserving applicants.
“The association exemplifies the outstanding, often unheralded, contributions of groups and individuals who record and promote our local history,” said Ms Nathan.
“They have endured disaster during the Black Summer bushfires, and through a steady process of revival have made a remarkable transformation, even holding their first 2020 outing last month despite all their lost material.”
For more information on Eurobodalla’s culture and heritage, visit council’s website.