The 28 years of work and dedication by a local retired groundsman was recognised by his beloved Woongarra State School on Friday with the unveiling of Col Fritz Oval.
The Bundaberg man was celebrated by the entire cohort at a special parade before the new oval sign, honouring his commitment to the school, was revealed.
It was a moment Mr Fritz said he would never forget.
“I am extremely honoured with the recognition, it was unexpected and I really appreciate it,” he said.
“I'll be remembering this day for a long time.”
The recently retired school facilities officer was not just in charge of the groundskeeping duties at the primary school.
He was also heavily involved in the P&C Association, was the First Aid Officer and had attended the school as a student growing up.
Principal Jeff Irwin said Mr Fritz was known as a “legend” within the school and his care in keeping the grounds pristine was something that would benefit students into the future.
“The well-maintained lawn areas, gardens and ovals provide such a welcoming learning environment for the students,” he said.
“Mr Fritz's long-term contribution and dedication to maintaining and developing the school grounds is well known within generations of our school community and has ensured every Woonie student in the future will continue to be beneficiaries of his work.”
Mr Irwin said the naming of the school oval was specific to the work Mr Fritz had put into its creation.
“We wanted to name the oval after Mr Fritz because he was instrumental in developing it from an old cane paddock to what it is now,” he said.
“He was the one who transformed the oval into a wonderful space that students in our school will use for many years to come.”
Past staff members and representatives of the P&C Association attended the special parade to acknowledge and celebrate Mr Fritz’ contributions to the school.
“Col put his heart and soul into making sure the grounds were in tip top shape for students, parents and staff alike,” PE teacher Jason Shears said.
“He always had so much pride in his work around the school, having a real keen eye for attention to detail.
“He just didn't do groundman's stuff, he involved himself in many other areas of school life.”
In talking about his time at Woongarra, Mr Fritz said it was the staff and students who had made it all worthwhile.
“It was a major part of my working life – 28 years is a fair chunk – I have really enjoyed it,” he said.
“It's a job that offers so much. It's not just about mowing lawns, it's about the school community.
“That's been the most rewarding part, the interaction with the staff and of course, the children.
“I got to work with a lot of kids, some that probably weren't classroom specialists but really enjoyed being out with me doing something for the school.”