Three cheers for local OAM recipients

There would be few Casino residents who dont know Richmond Valley mayor Charlie Cox (pictured).

Hes taught three generations of Casino kids, hes patrolled local beaches as a surf life saver and has helped feed many of the towns elderly residents through Meals on Wheels.

In fact probably the only person who was surprised such a community-minded man would be presented with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) on Australia Day was Charlie himself.

It was uplifting to be recognised like that, he said. I believe its only possible if you have a community that encourages you to work for it.

Mr Cox, one of three locals to receive an OAM in the 2006 Australia Day Honours List, is a fourth-generation Casino resident, and his love of the town made standing for Council a logical step.

He was mayor of the former Casino Council from 1998-2000, was deputy mayor of the newly amalgamated Richmond Valley Council from 2000-2001 and was then elected mayor in 2002.

Im passionate about the place, he said. I enjoy being positive, and doing positive things to try and ensure the future of the community. Im interested in steady, planned development and growth. Casino has great prospects beef will always be an important industry here, but its great to see it diversifying into things like cropping.

Before joining local government Mr Cox enjoyed a long teaching career. When he completed his teacher training he was delighted to get a posting back home, and taught at Casino Public School for 36 years.

Mr Coxs other lifelong passion is the surf lifesaving movement.

I was sort of born into surf life saving, he said. My father was involved with the Evans Head-Casino Surf Live Saving Club before me, and I got my Bronze Medal in 1956.

Mr Cox has been a life member of Evans Head-Casino Surf Live Saving Club since 1984 and in 1990 he received the World Lifesaving Bodys Citation of Merit.

Mr Cox has also been involved in numerous Casino community groups including the Cancer Council Relay for Life, Lions, Junior Rugby League, Meals on Wheels, the Public School P&C, the Soccer Association and the Sesquicentenary Committee. He was also an Olympic torch bearer in 2000.

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