The outstanding contributions of some of the longest residing City of Rockingham residents have been celebrated at the City’s annual Pioneers Luncheon.
The Pioneers’ Luncheon is held in October each year to honour the people who have lived within the City for 50 consecutive years or more, and are 65 years of age or older.
Each year the event features a special theme, and this year’s was “in the Navy”, which was chosen as part of the City’s longstanding ties with HMAS Stirling naval base, and in recognition of the 45th anniversary since the base was commissioned.
In addition to the more than 210 pioneers, City of Rockingham Mayor, Deb Hamblin was joined by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Madeleine King; Member for Warnbro and Minister for Police, Corrective Services, Paul Papalia; Member for Rockingham, Magenta Marshall, fellow members of Council, Commander Nick Carter and Lieutenant Commander Keith Bromfield (HMAS Stirling) and Laurie Smith (Freeman of the City).
Local resident and naval veteran, Bill Prince, was the special guest speaker at the event. Mr Prince had a 50-year career in the navy, with nearly 40 years in full time service before transferring to active reserves. With three Federation Stars and a Long Service medal to his name, Mr Prince was able to speak in detail about HMAS Stirling’s history.
Mayor Hamblin thanked all Pioneers for the contribution they had made to the community over a sustained period.
“The annual Pioneers Luncheon provides the City with a chance to acknowledge the residents who have played a major part in developing our City into the fabulous place it is today,” she said.
“Over the years Rockingham has grown from a small holiday town by the seaside, to a thriving strategic centre and is now one of the fastest growing cities in the metropolitan area.
“Our Pioneers have been crucial to the City’s growth and progress, and we thank them for their outstanding efforts,” she said.