Community service celebrated with four new inductees to the Wambo Coal
Published on 11 November 2022
Four new additions all in the community service category have been made to the Wambo Coal Singleton Hall of Fame for 2022, with a special induction ceremony held at Singleton Civic Centre last night.
Three generations of NSW SES (State Emergency Service) volunteers saw the Fellowes Family inducted as a meritorious family, recognising a combined total of 272 years of community service also to the Christian Israelite Church.
Singleton Lioness carried on the community service theme 37 years after it was established, in recognition of a long list of fundraising efforts including 30 years of providing canteen facilities at annual Singleton Amateur Theatre Society (SATS) musicals to support the local community.
John McAleer was inducted posthumously for his work through the St Vincent de Paul Society and personally to make sure people had a roof over their heads, and Bruce Merrick for decades of service as the longest serving volunteer with Uniting Care, providing entertainment at local nursing homes.
Run in a partnership between Singleton Council and Peabody Wambo Coal since 2009, the Hall of Fame recognises and honours those people who were born in, or have a strong association with Singleton and who have attained prominence at a State, national or international level in their field of endeavour.
Wambo Coal Singleton Hall of Fame chair Cr Godfrey Adamthwaite said it was a wonderful occasion to celebrate Singleton’s outstanding citizens.
“This is one of my favourite events of the year because we pay tribute to individuals, families and community organisations who have given their time and energy for our community, or who have excelled on the state, national or global stage,” he said.
“I’m very proud of how the Wambo Coal Singleton Hall of Fame has grown over the past 13 years, and to add four more pavers including a Meritorious Family for the first time in many years.
“I sincerely congratulate all of our new inductees, their families, members and supporters, and thank Wambo Coal Peabody Energy for their ongoing support.”
2022 Wambo Coal Singleton Hall of Fame Inductees
The Fellowes family is actively involved in community service through their volunteer work with the NSW State Emergency Service and the Christian Israelite Church.
Between them, the Fellowes family has provided 272 years of community service to the Singleton community through three generations of volunteering with the NSW SES – Singleton Unit starting in 1956 and continuing today with five family members currently members of the Singleton Unit.
The Fellowes Family have provided the Singleton Unit with 2 Deputy Unit Commanders and have been involved in numerous response operations within the Singleton LGA and across the State including the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake and 1997 Thredbo Landslide.
Singleton Lioness Club
The Singleton Lioness Club, or the Purple Ladies as they are affectionately known, was chartered on 2 March 1985 and became a fully-functioning Lions Club in 2021 now known as Singleton Lioness.
One of the Club’s major fundraisers has been the provision of canteen facilities at the annual SATS musicals, which has been ongoing for 30 years. The Lioness Club also provided catering at the Singleton Trade Fair for many years, and provides morning tea at the annual Singleton Australia Day ceremony.
Funds raised have been used to support Singleton Hospital, Nursing Homes, Singleton Neighbourhood Centre, local schools, Identikid cards and trauma bears for local police and ambulance services. The Club was instrumental in helping establish the Renal Unit at Singleton Hospital and has maintained an association with this area donating an ECG for use in the unit in recent years.
Community Service (Posthumous)
At his recent funeral service at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Singleton, John McAleer was eulogised as a man of high principles and integrity. His interpretation of wealth was not financial or material, but in the richness of relationships he forged in his community.
John was a successful businessman with Gordon Fuller Real Estate who used his connections and resources to help others. He worked mainly through the St Vincent de Paul Society but went far beyond that in his commitment to individuals. He made sure that people had a bed to sleep in, often paying for motel accommodation out of his own money and did his best to ensure that they had a roof over their heads.
John served his Parish in various capacities during his lifetime. John was a generous, kind and humble person who did not seek recognition of his contribution to the Singleton community.
For more than 50 years, Bruce has provided entertainment for the residents of the hostel and nursing homes in our LGA, starting at the hospital with Betty Butler playing the piano. As the hostel and nursing homes opened he and his band of singers moved on to holding concerts. He is the longest serving volunteer with Uniting Care, and his entertainment has been greatly appreciated by all the organisations involved who ensure his group is catered for.