A FAMILIAR face at the Eaglehawk fire station has been named the suburb's citizen of the year.
Former CFA captain Eric Smith will receive the award for 2021 from Rotary Eaglehawk.
Mr Smith said it was a shock to win the award, but he'd just keep doing what he loved: helping the community.
Mr Smith has been involved in the Eaglehawk CFA since 1995, after moving to the suburb in 1985. At that time he was an officer with the CFA for the district, so when he retired he joined the Eaglehawk brigade.
All up he's spent about 52 years with the organisation, filling roles including captain, group delegate, second lieutenant, and training officer and coordinator.
Mr Smith said he had slowed down a bit now with the CFA, but was still involved, especially with fire prevention and community information ahead of every summer.
Eric is a fine example of putting service above self and is highly regarded for his community passion and people skills.Geoff Gallagher
Rotary Eaglehawk community services director Geoff Gallagher congratulated Mr Smith on becoming the 2021 Eaglehawk Citizen of the Year. He thanked Mr Smith for his dedication to the community.
Mr Gallagher named Mr Smith's service during the Black Saturday bushfires and their aftermath among his contributions, saying Mr Smith was on the first truck to arrive at the Bracewell Street fire.
"Eric is a fine example of putting service above self and is highly regarded for his community passion and people skills," Mr Gallagher said.
Mr Smith has also been involved with a range of Eaglehawk community organisations, from the Dahlia and Arts Festival to the Canterbury Carols and the Australia Day committee.
He said he joined the first as a safety officer about eight years ago and it developed from there.
He's performed similar roles for the carols and Australia day events.
Mr Smith thanked his family and others in the organisation for their support of his voluntary work.
COVID-19 restrictions mean the award will be presented at a ceremony with 50 invited guests, including Mr Smith's family, friends and Victorian government and City of Greater Bendigo representatives.
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