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Evan Duke recognised with Order of Australia Medal

Evan Duke is receiving an OAM this year for his commitment to the community.

As humble as they come, Evan Duke has this year been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in honour of his service to the Bundaberg community.

Evan has spent many years volunteering for organisations such as Meals on Wheels and is a life member of both Hinkler Lions and the Bingera Football Club.

Evan was notified of the award around six weeks ago and at first he couldn't believe it.

“I first thought it was a scam and I nearly wiped it, but I looked at it a bit more and thought I’d have a go at it,” Mr Duke said.

“They convinced me that it wasn’t a scam and wrote back again and then sent me another email about a week or so ago telling me what was happening.

“Once I realised it wasn’t a scam, I thought what am I getting this for?”

Evan has been recognised for his hard work being honoured with life memberships to the Hinkler Lions and Bingera Football Club, although is unsure of the reason he has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal.

“Somebody thinks I do something I suppose, the people who nominated me must think I have done a bit of service for the community,” he said.

“I have a life membership with the soccer club, they have named the grandstand after me.”

The Bingera Football Club has been his life, growing up around the club with strong family connection, with his work at the club never going unnoticed.

“When I used to come home here on leave, I used to come over to the football grounds and water and mow them and do odd jobs around the place,” he said.

“My grandfather was the first president in 1923, then my father was the president for 13 years and I was treasurer for two and one as president.”

Bingera Football Club congratulated Evan, or ‘Dukie' as he is known to club members, on Facebook.

“Dukie has been a loyal and valued supporter of Bingera Football Club,” the Facebook post said.

“He has been the backbone of our club and whose opinion we value greatly.

“Our home grounds grandstand has also been honoured in his name.”

Evan became part of Meals on Wheels after he retired, getting a position on the committee and volunteering his time for twenty years.

“For Meals on Wheels, my friend said to me, what are you doing now you’re retired?

“I said I don’t know what I’m going to do and he said well you’re on the committee at Meals on Wheels and that is how I got that.

“The big thing I was doing there was going around the farm and collecting the fruit and vegetables.”

Despite the evidence of this commitment to the community, Evan is still unsure why he has been nominated to receive the award.

“I don’t know who dobbed me in, but somebody thinks something about me,” he said.

“I don’t think I deserve it really, no more than the next fella but you can’t get much higher than this.”

The Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List recognises 1,190 Australians.