Humble hero honoured by Governor General
PROSERPINE'S local hero was honoured by the Governor-General at an awards ceremony in Townsville on Monday April 30.
Whitsunday SES controller Mark Connors received his Emergency Service Medal amongst other awards recipients from the state after being nominated by a fellow volunteer.
Queensland state Governor-General Paul de Jersey presented the award to Mr Connors and nine other upstanding community members in what he described as a nerve racking experience.
"It was an official ceremony, but they made everyone feel very relaxed and we got to meet the Governor-General with his entourage,” he said.
"We all had a cup of tea together after and a chat.”
Mr Connors has served the Whitsunday SES for more than 26 years to rise through the ranks to controller, after he just wanted to give back to the community.
For the past 17 years he has worked at Proserpine State High School in facilities maintenance.
Mr Connors was humble about receiving the honour and said that a number of his team would have been worthy of such an award due to their efforts after Cyclone Debbie.
"The fact that someone thought that highly of me and took the time to nominate me is a humbling thought,” he said.
"I'm not big on awards, there was a whole bunch of people in the team would have warranted one as it was that team that made it all come together during the efforts before, during and after Cyclone Debbie.
"I'll wear the medals on the limited official occasions I attend, it's something to leave to my kids.''
His wife Suzanne Connors is a group leader of Proserpine SES and the couple's children are both members.
"It's a big job and getting bigger all the time, hopefully someone will rise through the ranks and relieve me one day,'' Mr Connors said.
"My kids are both members, they've seen how much work's involved so I don't think they want a part of it.''