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Singleton's Wambo Coal Hall of Fame inductees announced


Singleton's Wambo Coal Hall of Fame inductees have been announced. 

At a special COVID-Safe event at the Singleton Civic Centre on Wednesday afternoon six more people were inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

The individuals honoured at the ceremony were Gregory Lancaster (Sport); Gerard McMillan (Community Service); Ken Neely (Community Service); Charlie Shearer (Business Industry & Tourism); and the Hon George Souris (Public Service).

Ken Nelly and Charlie Shearer were inducted posthumously.

The only organisation to be nominated this year was the Singleton PCYC in the category of Community Service.

Run in a partnership between Singleton Council and Peabody Wambo Coal, the Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognise 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.

Chairman of the Wambo Coal Singleton Hall of Fame Committee, Cr Godfrey Adamthwaite, said he felt very fortunate the community could come together for the 2020 induction, although the event took a slightly different format to meet COVID-19 requirements.

“In the past 11 years, we’ve celebrated 58 individuals and community organisations who have given their time and energy for our community, or who have excelled on the state, national or global stage,” Cr Adamthwaite said.

“I’m proud to say that we’ve added to that list in 2020, even in the midst of a global pandemic."

“The six names we’ve added to the pavers of our Hall of Fame are most deserving of this great honour to take their place on a prestigious list of individuals, families and organisations, and stand as an example to us all to strive for the highest levels of achievement in whatever field we choose," he said. 

“I congratulate today’s inductees and their families, and thank Peabody Wambo Coal for their ongoing support since the inception of the Hall of Fame to recognise the outstanding people in our community.”

Wambo Coal Hall of Fame Inductees:

Gregory Lancaster, Sport

Greg has always been a keen sportsman and in 1987 he began powerlifting at the Singleton PCYC and it became his passion.  Greg went on to represent Singleton, NSW and Australia no less than on 20 occasions.  In 1994 Greg was named in the Australian team to travel to Johannesburg in South Africa.  He achieved 4th place and brought home 2 x bronze medals for the squat and deadlift.  Over the next 20 years Greg competed all over the world and has won many Oceania, Commonwealth Titles and breaking squat, bench and deadlift records in three different weight divisions. 

Gerard McMillan, Community Service

Gerard has recently retired as the General Manager Singleton Diggers a position he has held since 1979.  Gerard has played in and referred Rugby Union games.  Gerard joined the Rotary Club of Singleton in 1987 and served in most positions including President 1999 - 2000.  He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Singleton Sunrise and was Charter President in 2016 – 2017.  Gerard was the District Governor in 2014 – 2015.

Ken Neely, Community Service

Ken was a small business owner (K & J Neely Carriers) for 49 years.  He was involved in Anglican Church in a number of capacities, was an inaugural member of the Singleton Apex Club becoming the first District Governor and was awarded a life member. He was a member of Lodge St Andrews for more than 60 years and was patron of the Glennies Creek Cricket Club. Ken was also a driver for Ourcare Services Ltd and a supporter of the Cancer Council.

Charlie Shearer, Business Industry & Tourism

Charlie was born in Singleton and operated a diary farm at Maison Dieu.  He was a member of the Northern Agricultural Association (Singleton Show) for 50 years and 12 years as President.   Charlie promoted Holstein Friesians Dairy Cattle and was awarded Federal Life Membership in 1983 of the Australian Holstein Association.  Charlie owned the Corner Takeaway Shop in Maison Dieu.  He bred (racing pacers) trotters, employed local trainers who had many successes over the years. Charlie also played local cricket until he was 50.

Hon George Souris, Public Service

George was a Councillor for seven years and Deputy Shire President for four years.  George entered State Politics in 1988 and was Member for Upper Hunter until 2015.  George held a number of Ministerial appointments and was Deputy Leader of the Nationals from 1993 to 1999 and Leader of the Nationals from 1999 to 2003.  In June 2016 George was awarded an OAM in recognition of his significant service to the people and community of the Upper Hunter.

Singleton PCYC, Community Service

The Singleton PCYC was officially opened on 13 September, 1965.  The PCYC is a charity empowering young people to reach their potential through Police and community partnerships.  The PCYC provides quality activities and programs in a safe, fun and friendly environment.  The PCYC work with youth-at-risk to break the cycle of disadvantage through crime prevention, vocational education, youth capacity building and social responsibility programs to change the life and wellbeing outcomes for young people.

Image credit: Singleton Council