William R. Wilkins OAM

Life Membership Awarded - 1978/1979

Bill was born in Ringwood and has lived in the local district all his life. Educated at Ringwood Primary School, Box Hill High School and RMIT, Bill worked with the Victorian Railways for 50 years, mostly as an electrical engineer. Bill has three children and 6 grandchildren to keep him busy.

Bill has an outstanding background in voluntary service to the community. He was appointed as an Honorary Freeman of the City of Maroondah in 1997 after previously being awarded an Honorary Freeman of the then City of Ringwood in 1994. These prestigious awards are in recognition of his outstanding service to the local community. He was a Councillor for the City of Ringwood from February 1977 until August 1989 and was Mayor in 1985/86.

Involvement in a number of community activities has kept Bill busy. He is a 'Good Scout', committed to the highest principles of the Scouting Movement and has actively participated over every level for more than 50 years. He is an Honorary Commissioner of the Scouting movement and was a scout leader for 55 years, originally at the First Ringwood Scout Group. He was President of Lionsbrae, after being involved with the planning of the facility. Ringwood Secondary College has been the recipient of Bill's active support since 1977 and he served for many years on the College Council.

Other activities include, being the founder and organiser of the Ringwood Blue Light Disco and he is Patron of the Ringwood Early Planning for Retirement Group. Bill is also involved in providing assistance to Warrawong Day Care Kindergarten, the Ringwood Community Child Care Centre and Donwood Nursing Home and as a member of the Bedford Park Youth Hall and User Group Committees.

Sporting involvement has always been an important part of Bill's life. He is a Life Member of the Eastern Suburban Churches' Umpires Association and has been involved in local football for many years. Still umpiring at the age of 79 at the time of writing, Bill officiated in his first senior game in 1947 in the then Croydon & Ferntree Gully Football League. He then went to the then Eastern District League and has now been with the Yarra Valley League for the last 13 years.

Cricket has always been Bill's first sporting love. He has been a member and Office Bearer of the East Ringwood Cricket Club for nearly 50 years where he is a Life Member. Bill was President of the club for a total of 17 years and the club has further honoured him by naming their Best Club Person Award the 'Bill Wilkins Shield'. He played his junior cricket at Bedford Cricket Club which later became East Ringwood and he is still playing, with a career now stretching to around 65 years at the time of writing (8/10). He is also a Life Member of the Maroondah Sports Club and has received a 50 year Service Award from Cricket Australia.

Bill's service to the RDCA includes 11 years as President of the Association, 13 years as a Vice President, and 12 years as the first President of the Junior competition. He has a junior grade trophy (Under 16-1) and the second highest senior grade competition named after him (the Bill Wilkins Cup) and he was made a Life Member of the Association in 1978/79. Bill's uncle, R.G. (Reg) Wilkins, is also a Life Member of the Association (1927/28) and also served as a Councillor for the (then) Shire of Ringwood. Bill has offered significant service to this Association and other voluntary organisations for most of his life – a magnificent and ongoing achievement.

David Hodgett MP

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