LOCAL HERO: After more than 50 years in orange, Lismore SES Unit volunteer, Tom Maxwell was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
LOCAL HERO: After more than 50 years in orange, Lismore SES Unit volunteer, Tom Maxwell was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Alison Paterson

53 years of service followed the flip of a florin

THE flip of a coin more than half a century ago set Tom Maxwell on a rewarding journey of community service.

"Back in 1965 some friends at work were at me to join the SES and fire brigade," he said.

"I couldn't do both so I tossed a florin (two shillings) and I joined the SES and the ambulance."

On Monday night Mr Maxwell was recognised for his incredible 53 years of service by the Lismore SES unit at their awards evening when to the loud cheers of his colleagues, he was presented with a Lifetime Award by SES Deputy Zone Controller, Mark Somers and unit controller John Ludlow.

"Tom has been through good and tough times in the community with many flood and storm events," Mr Somers said.

"I've never ever presented one of these before and I am very proud to do so to Tom."

Mr Maxwell said his SES commitment started the same year he joined the NSW Ambulance Service.

"I did over 40 years with the ambulance but kept on doing first aid training for the SES," he said.

"Now I just look after the first-aid kits."

Other unit members also received recognition, including Ed Bennett who received his 40, 35, 30 and 25 year service awards.

"Congratulations Ed, we are playing catch-up here," Mr Somers said.

"NSW SES is particularly honoured to recognise these volunteers with their service awards, they are a small way of saying thank you for what they do."

He said the Unit and members were presented with the Commissioner's Citation Certificates and Clasp for outstanding efforts during the March 2017 flood which resulted in significant flooding in Lismore and surrounding areas.

SES services awards:

40 Years - Ed Bennett

25 Years - Matt Armour.

20 Years - Sue Brown.

15 Years - Boyd Johnson and Laurie McGrath.

5 Years - Iain Alexander, Rob Balderi, Ed Bennett, Karina Essex and Ken Squires.

Unit Award - Lindsay Matterson

Lifetime Award - Tom Maxwell.



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