Tumby Bay's Stewart receives Anzac of the Year Award

Tumby Bay resident Geoff Stewart has been recognised for his work in the community and keeping servicemen's stories alive as one of this year's recipients of the Returned and Services League of Australia Anzac of the Year Awards.

The awards are presented to up to seven Australians each year to recognise the achievements of those who have served Australia and their communities in a selfless, positive and compassionate manner.

Mr Stewart was one of four award recipients nationwide and was recognised for his many years of service in the community, including as a volunteer ambulance officer and as a military historian.

He was presented with his award by South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le at the RSL Sub Branch Conference in Adelaide on Saturday.

Mr Stewart said he was told about the award before Anzac Day and was honoured to have been recognised in such a way.

One of Mr Stewart's roles with the RSL has been sharing the stories of local servicemen and he has been working with the Virtual War Memorial to electronically record the history of servicemen and servicewomen, not just from Tumby Bay but also from many areas on the Eyre Peninsula.

"The effect they had on our country and families at the time is understated and if you don't get that preserved it will be lost forever," Mr Stewart said.

A member of the Tumby Bay RSL for more than 20 years, Mr Stewart has been involved with RSL sub branches since 1966.

"I started out with Darke Peak RSL who awarded me with an honourary membership after my first tour of Vietnam," Mr Stewart said.

"Because in the army I moved around, wherever I was I would join the (local) branch of the RSL."

Other award winners in 2019 were Kenneth Beven OAM from Western Australia, Thomas Steele from Victoria and Jeffrey Yates OAM from South Australia.

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