Kempsey born Phillip Chapman has been honoured with an Order of Australia (OAM) in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Mr Chapman's OAM acknowledges the many years of community service to the Ballina Shire, where he moved in 1981.
The humble man claims the honour is credit to his wonderful parents, who taught Mr Chapman how to conduct himself and always care for others.
"Both of my parents were extremely generous people and have instilled a great deal of respect for everyone in me," Mr Chapman told the Argus.
"They have always been role models in assisting the community."
Tragically, Mr Chapman's mother Jean passed away on June 11, 1999 but Mr Chapman's father Jack, who resides at Vincent Court Aged Care home in Kempsey, remains healthy and will celebrate his 100th birthday in October this year.
Mr Chapman was genuinely "shocked" when he learned he had been awarded an OAM.
"Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about Australia and about the people who live here," he said.
"I am surprised but also very honoured and proud to accept this award.
"Having said that, I am sure the award will not change me as I regard myself as a very ordinary person."
Mr Chapman grew up in on a farm in Smithtown and attended St Joseph's Primary School before graduating to St Paul's College and then transferring to Kempsey High School.
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The now 67-year-old began working for the Rural Bank in Kempsey in 1970 and was later transferred to branches in Armidale, Wollongong and Goulburn before leaving the bank in 1981 to move to Ballina.
After building a nursing home in Ballina, Mr Chapman began working in the funeral industry and is currently working as a funeral and marriage celebrant.
Youth has been a particular focus of his community work. Mr Chapman was involved with the now-defunct Ballina RSL Youth Club from 1983-2013, serving as president for most of that time and being awarded Life Membership in 2002.
He also annually judges the Ballina Lions Club Youth of the Year Quest.
"I believe that we should invest resources and time into the raising of children as they are certainly our future," he said.
Mr Chapman has been a Legatee since 2003, volunteering to support the families of those who gave their lives or health in the service of the country and he has also volunteered at St Francis Xavier's Catholic Church for more than 40 years.
"Both these positions have given me the opportunity to visit many aged and frail in our community," Mr Chapman said.
"I am always amazed by the faith, strength and attitudes of those I visit, many facing terminal illnesses.
"It is indeed a privledge to be taken into their confidence."
Other roles Mr Chapman has had include; a former board member of Ballina Hospital, Justice of the Peace since 1975 and former member of the Ballina Shire Council Crime Prevention Commitee.
He was awarded Ballina Shire Council's Local Hero Award at the 2018 Australia Day celebrations.
Mr Chapman thanked his wife of 46 years, Leone, who also grew up in Macleay and is a past Kempsey High School school captain, and family for their support.
"They have always encouraged and supported me in any community service I have become involved in over the years," he said.
"Without them, nothing would be possible."
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