Edward Butler (Community Pride)
Edward, known as Ted, was born and raised in Singleton and a member of the third generation of his family to call Singleton home.
Ted’s volunteer activities began as a young man as a handy man at All Saint’s Church. He helped to maintain the grounds, church and the rectory. Among his duties, Ted was responsible for winding the clock in the tower of the church each week, which he did for 49 years.
Ted was on the engineering team that installed the bells in the tower of All Saints and on the All Saints Vestry for 17 years. He was also a voluntary worker at St Elizabeth’s Girls Home for about 30 years.
Ted, and wife Betty, volunteered for the Anglican Samaritans Foundation for three decades and he was a very active volunteer at Safe Haven and offered assistance to the people from Kosovo during their stay at Lone Pine Barracks, Singleton in 1999. He was a supporter of the Samaritan Group homes and the social group Cross Roads for the intellectually impaired.
For 20 years, Ted delivered meals and good company to those in need for Meals on Wheels as well as being an active member of the Singleton Museum and Historical Society.
When Ted and Betty lived at Sedgefield, they regularly opened their home and garden for the residents of Elizabeth Gates Homes and St Elizabeth group homes, Alroy and Cooinda Hostels, the senior citizens centre, Witmore Enterprise and the Kosovo people from Safe Haven.
Even Ted’s hobbies became an act of generosity and community. He made billy carts, go-carts and wooden toys, and restored bikes, tricycles, slippery dips and scooters and gifted them to children who appreciated them.
Three years ago, ill health prevented Ted from continuing with his volunteer work and he and Betty retired.
Allan Ball (Business and Industry)
Allan was born on the family grazing property “Grenell” at Bowman’s Creek, Singleton. In the 1950s decided to increase the beef cattle herd and reduce its mob of Merino. This was to be the start of Allan’s lifelong passion for improving the beef cattle industry.
Starting out with Herefords and Shorthorns, the family introduced Angus cattle to the herd and it was Allan who purchased a Santa Gertrudis bull to start a cross breeding program. It was not a popular decision with his father, but proved to be a good one that won the family many ribbons and prizes throughout the region.
In the 1960s, Allan began to investigate pasture improvements despite it being frowned on by the industry. His instinct paid off and as his pastures improved, so did the cattle, growing bigger and heavier and fetching a better price.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Allan worked with the Department of Agriculture as new breeds were introduced into Australia. He learnt a lot during this period, and the department learnt a lot from him. Allan was asked to give talks to other producers about the initiatives he had taken to improve his herd and the results he had achieved.
As market trends changed, wanting more muscle and less fat, Allan refined his breeding program. In 1975, during the depths of cattle recession, Allan bought a Charolais bull and joined him with Angus and Angus cross cows. The results spokes for themselves, the progeny wining at the Newcastle Hoof and Hook competition in 1977. Allan bought more Charolais bulls which improved the herd and his results in Led Steer and Carcase competitions.
In 1986, after competing at the Singleton Fat Stock Show, Allan saw a need to start a new local competition. He was a founding member of the Singleton Hoof and Hook Competition, now known as Singleton Beef and Land Management Association Incorporated.
In 1993, Allan suggested the Association hold an event for students on how to judge cattle and learn what to look for when selecting an animal. The first Singleton Junior Judging Competition was a great success. The event still runs today with more than 200 students competing. Allan also introduced workshops for students on animal health, cuts of beef, pest control, parading and grooming.
Allan co-founded the Maitland Show Cattle Clinic which is now known as the Allan Ball Cattle Clinic
He became a regular at Tocal Agricultural College speaking to students or providing blacksmithing demonstrations. He judged at many different shows and Hoof and Hook events throughout NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. His own show successes included Grand Champion at Royal Brisbane Show (EKKA) 2006 and 2007 and Champion Hoof and Hook Melbourne 2004. The Brisbane Royal Show now presents a perpetual trophy in memory of Allan to the Grand Champion Led Steer on the Hoof.
Barry Cox (Community Pride)
Barry was born and raised in Singleton. His contribution to the welfare of the community extends over many years and many activities.
As a young man he joined Singleton Apex Club and remained an active member for 22 years, becoming president of the club in 1967-68, District Governor in 1978-80 and was granted life membership when he reached the club’s retiring age in 1981.
In 1983, he joined Singleton Rotary and was elected president in 1998-99. In 1998, Barry was made a Paul Harris Fellow for recognition of his outstanding work within the community.
Barry was a volunteer for 15 years with the Singleton Visitor Information Centre, a member of the Singleton Community College Board and for a period of time on the council of King Street Public School. He was a Freemason of the Singleton craft for 45 years and was the Worshipful Master of the lodge in 1974.
Barry is a liturgical assistant with the Singleton Anglican Church, Pastoral Care Chairman, a parish council member and a member of the parish ministry team. He has completed three years at the Newcastle School of Theology and is a commissioned lay minister. As chairman of the Grief and Bereavement Committee, Barry gives a great deal of time and comfort to those in need. He is the Bishop’s Appointee for social welfare and justice to the Newcastle Synod.
He is also an accidental counsellor with Lifeline. He works with the Department of Community Services with children and their visiting parents and grandparents as well as being a counsellor at Bulga Coal. His visits Singleton District Hospital to care and counsel patients and runs a six-monthly collection of groceries and other necessities at Bulga Coal for those less fortunate.
Barry is an organiser and member of the RUOK group at Broke for on-shift and off-shift miners. Once a week in the early morning, this group provides sausages, coffee, tea and a chat with miners preparing to go on shift or those who have just finished. The intent is to provide workers a chance to relax, refresh and open up and discuss the stresses shift work places on them physically and on their relationships.
Thea Fleming (Community Pride)
Thea immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 1997 and has lived in Singleton for 16 years.
Thea was an accomplished artist in South Africa and was a member of the Water Colour Society, the Pastel Society of South Africa, Brush and Chisel Society and the Miniature Society of South Africa.
On arriving in Singleton, Thea immediately involved herself with the art community on a voluntary basis. She exhibited at the Singleton Art Prize run by the Rotary Club of Singleton on Hunter and has assisted with the hanging of the paintings in each show since 1997.
Thea became involved with teaching art on a voluntary basis at Hunter Street School providing a weekly session of art lessons to all the junior school students. She developed her own program introducing them to the works of old masters and other famous artists. Examples include the Leonardo da Vinci lesson when they emulated the famous artist by pinning their art paper under their desk and lying on their backs to paint.
Thea was co-opted onto the art committee of the Singleton Parents Committee of the school which for many years organised a very successful school art show. She arranged for visiting artists to hold workshops at the shows in addition to participating herself.
She used her contacts at the Singleton Masonic Lodge to arrange for the donation of a digital camera for Singleton Public School Special Unit for the use of staff when teaching. She was involved in these activities for eight years, although her grandchildren no longer attended. For five years, she also voluntarily taught art on a weekly basis at Hunter Valley Grammar School.
When the Kosovo refugees were living in Singleton in 1999 at the Lone Pine Barracks, Thea volunteered to assist the local Red Cross branch and organised weekly remedial art classes for the duration of their stay.
In 2001, Thea was asked to assist at Witmore Enterprise as a volunteer teaching art to clients. She continues to do so, attending every Tuesday morning for the past 12 years.
Thea is an active member of the Singleton Tidy Towns Committee and became involved in the Adopt-a-Spot program in 1998. She still participates on a regular basis.
She partnered with Singleton Public Library to provide several workshops during the Singleton Arts Festival, during which she donated her time. She has also supports her husband, Jack, who is a member of the Lions Club of Singleton, helping with the local Driver Reviver Scheme, Lions Book Fair, raffles and catering.
Thea has donated many paintings to not-for-profit organisations throughout Singleton that have been offered as prizes or auctioned, raising thousands of dollars for charity.
Thea was Singleton’s Citizen of the Year in 2003.