If there is one word to describe Woodgate Beach great-grandfather Noel Loder it's that he is remarkable.
The 93-year-old has taken it upon himself to make sure parkland and the beach entrance near his home is neat and tidy for almost three decades.
The retired cane farmer spent most of his married life in Childers before moving to Woodgate to retire in the early 90s.
Step-daughter Ruth Brassington says she’s never known such a hard-working man, especially one in his nineties, who selflessly dedicates several hours each week to ensure his surrounding environment is looked after.
“After working on cane farms for most of his working life he took it upon himself to look after our end of Woodgate Beach,” Ruth said.
“This mainly occurred when my mother passed away 17 years ago, after being her full-time carer.”
Noel Loder busy from the crack of dawn
An early riser, Noel is up tending to the local pathways and grassed areas before most people have had their morning coffee.
“He has taken much pride in the parkland and beach walkway entrance across the road from his residence, and over the years he has taken on the care of this area as his job,” Ruth said.
“He starts early each morning and also in the late afternoon and tends to the pathways and grassed areas.”
Noel doesn’t just sweep the leaves from the paths daily, but his “duties” include picking up fallen branches and palm fronds daily, which he then piles for collection by Bundaberg Regional Council staff.
Ruth said Noel also collects rubbish laying around and raked the Sheoak needles off the sand path to the beach at least once a fortnight.
“Noel sweeps the Sheoak needles off the paved pathway leading from the beach to the road at least fortnightly,” she said.
“(He) pulls out any noxious weeds and bins them for the Bundaberg Regional Council to remove.
“About twice a week he picks up all the fallen Pandanus palm fronds in the parkland area and heaps them.
“This makes a considerable difference to the tidiness and aesthetics of the park.”
Recognition for Noel’s dedication to Woodgate community
As a keen bowler who still bowls at least twice a week and is the patriarch of the Woodgate Bowls Club, it's hard to see where Noel finds the time to keep his neighbourhood clean.
Ruth said Noel was one of the proudest Woodgate residents and it was easy to see he enjoyed maintaining the area to keep it looking beautiful for locals and visitors.
She said between Council visits, Noel regularly mows the grassed area between the road and the paved path.
“Noel tends to and waters daily a small flower garden between two gum trees on the grassed area, which is often admired by pathway walkers,” she said.
“He is a modest and unassuming man and does not look for accolades but carries out all of the above because of his love for keeping the parkland and path in a clean and tidy state for the community to use.
“This is what he wakes up every day for and the reason he is at 93 active and mobile for his age.”
On Noel’s 90th birthday he was presented a certificate from Council for his community service and in 2018 Woodgate residents put a submission to Council requesting recognition for the community work Noel passionately undertakes with a more noticeable award.
“As there was an existing gazetted name for the parkland he so tenderly cares for, it was decided to honour Noel with a brass plaque near the walkway in the park,” Ruth said.
“This plaque recognises the tireless work Noel carries out in keeping the parkland and beach access clean and tidy.”
The plaque was unveiled in March 2018 followed by a community morning tea.
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