Ballina Citizen of the Year nominee Eoin Johston says while he's no Obama, winning the award would be a special moment.
Ballina Citizen of the Year nominee Eoin Johston says while he's no Obama, winning the award would be a special moment. Northern Star/David Nielsen

A sporting chance for Citizen of Year

EOIN JOHNSTON believes if he is anything, he is consistent.

“I am a plodder,” he said.

“I have never reached any great heights, but I have contributed to the community consistently throughout my life.”

Nominated for Ballina's Australia Day Citizen of the Year, Mr Johnston said he was humbled by the experience.

“In the light of what is happening in the USA, this is small cheese,” he said.

“But if I win the award it will be something for people who plod along in life.”

Mr Johnston said he was nominated for the award for his work and life-long membership of sporting clubs on the Far North Coast and formerly on Sydney's northern beaches.

Since moving to the area in 1975, Mr Johnston has been an active committee member for five sporting clubs, including the Far North Coast Water Polo Association, the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club, the Alstonville Water Polo Club, the Wollongbar-Alstonville Rugby Union Club and the Ballina Rugby Union Club.

“That's a lot of sport,” Mr Johnston said.

At the same time, Mr Johnston raised three children, worked full-time as a tiler, tended his lychee orchard and studied law.

“My wife has been wonderful,” he said.

“If you want something done ask the busiest person because they usually find the time to do it.

“Ask someone with not much to do and they usually find a reason not to do it.

“If I am awarded Citizen of the Year at Ballina then I will accept it for all of those ordinary people in the community who do all the hard work.

“Like the people who serve in tuck shops, coaching kids' sport, Meals on Wheels, members of fire brigades, the Coast Guard and so on.

“There are thousands of people out there who do so much work and don't get recognised.

“I don't know why I did all of this; Barack Obama I'm not.”


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