Bluff local valued for kindness
BLUFF local Ron (Porky) Richardson will always lend a hand to those who need help.
Mr Richardson, who has been named as a Commonwealth Games baton bearer for next year, said Bluff was only a small community of 500, so you just helped out around the community whenever you were needed.
"You just get in, give them a hand and help out your mates,” he said.
Mr Richardson is regarded by most as a valued community member, operating the community bus for more than 10 years.
"Bluff is an isolated town, there's only one pub, no post office and we used to have a shop, but that got burnt down,” he said. "So now you have to drive to Blackwater, which is 20km away, to do your shopping and collect your mail.
"The community bus was very helpful; we had a lot of older people here and we used to drive them around, it was all voluntary, everything was free.
"I had put a lot of work and my own free time into it. It was a big job.
"I wanted to do it because it was a service for the community. However now the bus is gone, that's another thing the people of Bluff can't have.”
Mr Richardson, who teaches people how to drive coal trains, said he was proud to be part of the historic baton carrying team as it made its way through regional Queensland before arriving on the Gold Coast for the opening ceremony.
"I couldn't believe I was going to be one of the baton bearers for the Queen's Baton Relay, I didn't think I would ever get to do anything like that,” he said.
"I'm very honoured, I feel both proud and privileged that I got selected.
"If anything, this experience will make me feel prouder about myself.
"I am just excited that this is all happening and I am just glad I was chosen to represent Bluff.”
The letter nominating him for a baton bearer's title said, "Ron has significantly contributed to sport in the Central Highlands. He has been a referee of rugby league and touch football for well over 25 years. He also volunteers his time to referee for any of the schools in the local area.”
Mr Richardson has also encouraged and coached younger people to get involved in refereeing.
"After an injury I took up refereeing rugby league and touch football around the Central Highlands and surrounding districts for well over 25 years,” he said.
"They even took me down to Brisbane to referee games for school kids down there, because they didn't have any referees.
"A lot of kids used to come up to me and ask me to teach them how to referee.
"I was a mentor as well as a rugby league referee, I would give my time to help other kids, so they too can become good referees.”