Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Bill, Sawtellian of the Year

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Bill, Sawtellian of the Year

Article excerpt

FEW people can lay claim to such an enduring, loyal and productive association with the village of Sawtell than William John 'Bill' Singleton. Born on a farm at Crossmaglen, Bill has spent every Christmas of his 83 years at his beloved Sawtell.

His family left the farm late each December to enjoy a well-earned break by the sea in the Joy Nook, one of a number of holiday cottages which used to be on the Sawtell Reserve.

It was only after Bill married his Bellingen sweetheart Margaret in 1954 that the tradition was broken with the newlyweds holidaying in a flat near the Hilltop Shop.

In 1966, Bill and Margaret built a beach house in Honeysuckle St, where they continue to live today, and are now joined by their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren each Christmas.

Bill's love of Sawtell has always been an integral part of his life so being announced as the 2015 Sawtellian of the Year was indeed an honour for this humble local.

"It felt wonderful to receive this award, I'm so very proud," Bill said.

"Sawtell is somewhere special. The ambience here is unbelievable. Everyone has time to say 'good day' when you go down the street, it's a great pace of life here."

Many Sawtellians will recognise Bill's face as he's always been an active member of this close-knit seaside community.

After playing three seasons with the Sawtell Rugby League Club, Bill swapped his boots for the beach and in 1949 gained his bronze medallion from the Sawtell Surf Club. This led to lifelong friendships and an association with the Surf Club that continues today.

In the early days, Bill was part of the club's competitive R & R and March Past teams, he was an active fundraiser and worked with club members to ensure the success of the Sawtell Super Fun Day.

During the years, he has been involved in many rescues and has held executive positions with the club including president. …

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