Junee became the first stop on the NSW governor’s trip through the Riverina.
His Excellency the Honourable David Hurley spent the morning meeting members of the Men’s Shed, after arriving at Wagga Airport on Wednesday October 10.
“It’s a good start to our visit out this way [meeting] a great bunch of fellows here in the Men’s Shed,” His Excellence said.
Over four days, His Excellence The Honourable David Hurley will travel around Junee, Young and Temora.
“We like to get in to visit organisations that are really part of the fabric of the community,” said His Excellence.
Bill Richardson joined the men’s shed for its inaugural meeting in 2008, soon after he had arrived in the town from Canberra.
Being able to host the governor’s visit constituted a milestone for him.
“We were one of the first in Australia to really get started, and there wasn’t a lot of political support for it back then,” said Mr Richardson.
“That started to turn around about six or seven years ago, but we have always been lucky to have the community’s support.”
The visit also coincided with World Mental Health Day, which was brought especially to the fore when Mrs Hurley led the gathering in a chorus of You Are My Sunshine.
She also penned and performed an original song for the occasion.
“I am a big believer in the importance of song to lift the spirits,” said Mrs Hurley.
Throughout the visit, the drought remained at the forefront of conversation.
“Organisations like these really knit the community together,” said His Excellence.
“Especially during these stressful times the town is having with the drought at the moment. The countryside might look healthy but it’s really quite an illusion and there’s a lot of hard work still to be done to sustain the community for the next 12 to 18 months.”
After a career spanning 42 years in the military, including service as the chief of defence, the governor and Mrs Hurley have lived a lot of their lives in the Riverina.
To culminate the visit, His Excellence will pay homage to his roots at the Temora Warbirds Down Under air show.