It’s fair to say that long time Forbes resident Paddy Molly has been around the traps and put in the hard yards for the community. From riding and training horses and competing in rodeos in his younger years, to working as a butcher and at the Forbes Abattoirs, to building Forbes’ first rodeo bucking chutes and helping establish the first Forbes rodeo, Mr Molloy is certainly worthy of honour.
And on Tuesday evening at the Forbes Australia Day Festival at Colin McKenzie Park, he received the honour of being named the Forbes Senior Citizen of the Year. After many accidents including broken bones, losing his late wife Una in 2007 and suffering burns from a farming accident in 2012, the 89-year old was forced to sell his Wandary Lane farm and move to a home in Bathurst Street, where he still spends tire-less hours gardening and renovating his homes.
He regularly brings the bins in for his neighbours who work, and along with musical partner Ray Lassierre, plays country music at the Jemalong Residential Village and the Mater Nursing Home. They have played at both now for 37 years. “I’m grateful for this. It’s like winning the lottery,” Mr Molloy said of his award win.
Mr Molloy said tongue in cheek he did not plan on attending the Australia Day Festival, but was glad he did in winning his award. “I got brought over by my son and his wife, so I’m glad I came,” he said. Sixteen-year old Daniel Ashcroft won the 2016 Forbes Junior Citizen of the Year. He is a volunteer for the Forbes Shire Council Youth Advisory Committee, established Spectacular Screenings at age 12, and donates toys to Havannah House for their annual Christmas lunch.
In setting up and helping to run Spectacular Screening, where a movie for public viewing is put on once per month, he has contributed a massive 230 hours of his time over the last four and a half years. Mr Ashcroft also marches for Forbes High School in the ANZAC Day march, and volunteers as a musician at Jemalong Retirement Village.
He said he is proud of what he does and will continue his work. “It’s good to help out in the community and it’s good to see people’s faces when you’re doing it,” he said.
“I plan on continuing the volunteering. I’m not too sure what I’d like to do after I finish school in a couple years, but I’d like to go to university.” “I’m a black belt in martial arts, so something may come from that too.”