Paul Wallace of Burrum Heads and Kevin Cooper of Urangan are congratulated by Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Gerard O'Connell after being presented with their Community Champion Awards.
Paul Wallace of Burrum Heads and Kevin Cooper of Urangan are congratulated by Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Gerard O'Connell after being presented with their Community Champion Awards. Contributed

Weeding and raking on city streets earns community award

WITH his gardening tools strapped to his bike, Kevin Cooper has become a familiar sight around Hervey Bay.

Mr Cooper, 59, was presented with a Community Champion Award by the Fraser Coast Regional Council at its meeting on Wednesday in recognition of his efforts to keep the city tidy.

He moved to the Bay to be with his parents, Fred and Olive, and recuperate after a motorcycle accident 32 years ago.

Mr Cooper spends his days weeding and raking and picking up leaves and garbage from gutters and streets in the city.

"His love of gardening was sparked by Jan Darville who was a neighbour when he moved to Hervey Bay in the 80s," Mr Cooper's sister Jocelyn said.

"He helped Jan who was developing the community garden in Oleander St as well as in her home garden.

"It was his idea to start cleaning up the city and he just started doing it.

"He's also helped out on projects on the foreshore."

Mr Cooper continues to help Jan as well as his neighbours and their families with their gardens.

Burrum Heads man Paul Wallace was also presented with his Community Champion certificate on Wednesday.

Mr Wallace was among the first group of resident to be presented awards, but was unable to attend the ceremony.

He used his earthmoving equipment to help clean-up after the floods and tornado hit Burrum Heads, Raintree Acres and Pacific Haven on the Australia Day weekend.

"He removed load after load of debris and helped residents rebuild with no thought for himself or that he was ill," Division 5 Councillor Rolf Light said.



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