Years of volunteering earns Ted a medal

GENEROUS: Medal of the Order of Australia recipient Ted Rankins and wife Gwen.  Picture: CONTRIBUTED.
GENEROUS: Medal of the Order of Australia recipient Ted Rankins and wife Gwen. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

TED Rankins' volunteer resume is so extensive it's hard to imagine he ever had time for an actual paid career.

So it's no wonder that he has been recognised for his services to the Bendigo community with a Medal of the Order of Australia. 

The former Australia Post manager has served the community in numerous clubs and organisations since the 1960s. 

Positions he's held over the years include president of the North Bendigo Football Club, chairman of the Bendigo Squash Centre Co-operative, president of the Bendigo Rotary Club, president of the Catholic Men's Dinner Club, board member for the Bethlehem Home and Hospital for Aged and chairman of the Goldfields Tourism Region. There are more but the list is too long. 

"That's one of the great things about regional cities and towns. You get to know so many people and have so many contacts that you get involved with so many things," Mr Rankins said.

He said he was "absolutely surprised but absolutely delighted" to receive the prestigious award.

His work towards improving the tourism industry in Bendigo is one of his most  significant services to the community.

Mr Rankins has been involved with tourism since 1995 when he became chairman of Bendigo Tourism. 

"I've been delighted to be involved with tourism," he said.

He remains involved through Bendigo Information Centre where he gives morse code demonstrations. He's been doing the demonstrations for 17 years. 

"It's a system of dots and dashes," Mr Rankins said. 

He said the morse code display gave visitors to Bendigo something a bit different to "catch their eye".

"It's surprising how many old people remember the morse code sound."

He said the old communication system is intriguing to school students.

Mr Rankins came to Bendigo with his wife Gwen from Ultima, near Swan Hill. 

He said they originally planned to move away after a few years but never got around to it. 

"What I like about it, is it's home. The people factor is the most important thing wherever you are," he said.


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