30 March, 2022
Bruce is our Senior Citizen for 2022
Bruce James has been named Gilgandra’s Citizen of the Year for 2022.
Mr James was humbled by the nomination,
with peers describing him as a ‘quiet
achiever’ who ‘jumps in and helps wherever
there is a need’.
“I am very humbled. I think there is very many deserving members in the community as well as myself. And congratulations to the other nominee, Geoff Pike.”
Mr James has been a member of the
Gilgandra Men’s Shed for 10 years, and has
served continuously on the shed’s committee
in a number of roles including president.
“I was very privileged to be involved in
the building of our facilities there eight
years ago,” said Mr Pike.
He is a member of the Gilgandra Show Society, and of the Showground Trust, and has recently done a lot of work on the new buildings at the showground. Not only has Mr James organised the work, but has helped fit out many new rooms including the new showers and toilets, the new pony club rooms, and the new stables.
But his commitment doesn’t stop there.
Mr James is one of the resident lawn mowers for the showgrounds, spending many hours of his own time making sure the grass is perfect for the shire’s use. Mr James has been so dedicated to the upkeep of the showground that he even drove to Mudgee to pick up a heavy rubber conveyor belt that was installed on the walls of the stables, to prevent the horses injuring themselves.
One of Mr James’ proudest moments
was being one of the organisers for the 2002
horse ride to raise money for cancer
“My son and his mate were at a
pub in Sydney, and they had both lost close
members of family to cancer, and they
decided the thing to do was to go and raise
money for research,” said Mr James.
“Because they were both pony club
members, they decided a horseride across
Australia would be a big thing to do.”
Four riders, including Mr James’ son
rode from Darwin to Lakes Entrance in
Victoria, right across Australia. It took them
11 months, and they raised in excess of
“It took about two years of planning, and
the horse riding was the easy part. Raising
money was the difficult part.
“We had the target of half a million dollars,
which means $1200 a day, every day,
for 11 months. And we raised $536,000 for
But it didn’t stop there.
“The research we started was quite successful, and a lot more money was added to it after it was started. “A brain surgeon was experimenting with a new drug at the time. The search is still going on even after 20 years. It was certainly an achievement.”
Mr James was the farrier for the team, looking after the horses.
“It was a trip of a lifetime.”
Described by his peers as ‘organised’,
Mr James is ‘one of those people you can
count on to organise a major task, but he
also gets in and quietly works behind the
The other nominee for the Senior
Citizen of the Year Award was Geoff Pike.
Geoff Pike is a very active member of
the Tooraweenah community, and is a member
of Tooraweenah Lions Club, where he
plays a role in many community events, and
provides catering support.
“Geoff has many
monthly barbeques to his credit,” described
Mr Pike is also a great supporter of the
Tooraweenah Endurance Ride, where he
provides vital catering support.
For the Tooraweenah Showground, Mr
Pike provides catering and bar support for
events, meaning he is often working long
days, with early mornings and late nights.
Geoff’s work in Tooraweenah is greatly valued and appreciated by the whole community, and is described by his peers as “someone you can rely on to always provide a helping hand for any community activity”.