Huge honour for Hugh

December 20, 2017

Hugh Smith with Warramunda chief executive Sandi Websdale.

HUGH Smith has certainly seen his fair share of change in 44 years of service at Warramunda Village.

And for the first time in two decades, Warramunda has formally acknowledged the past committee member and bestowed a life governorship.

When Hugh first put his hand up to join the committee in 1969, things looked pretty different — and a lot more hands-on for volunteers.

He can still remember when Warramunda was one lone building surrounded by seven acres of vast hay fields — as opposed to the cluster of pristine units surrounding it today.

After church each Sunday, Hugh could be seen heading to Warramunda, his family in tow.

It wasn’t always glamorous work, but it was of infinite value.

Each week he would be up and down ladders, changing light globes and unblocking toilets as requested by the supervisor of the day.

In the early years, Hugh would cut the hay growing on the vacant block, rake, bale and sell it, with all proceeds going to Warramunda.

When there was a new garden or building developments underway, it was common to see Hugh on a pick or shovel, preparing sites and installing sprinkler systems.

Hugh, along with his wife Val (a nurse at Warramunda), took residents on an annual holiday each year.

The destination often changed, the trip taking them from Ballarat to Bright and beyond.

Hugh recalls it being fun — although perhaps a little too fun one time.

‘‘One lady decided she wasn’t quite ready to go home on the final day of the adventure,’’ he said.

‘‘She hid in a bush, sending us into quite a state thinking we had misplaced her.

‘‘After a brief search the lady was found and everyone made it home safely.’’

In his 44 tireless years of service, Hugh served as president in 1975,1976, 1985, 1986 and 1987, dealing with some sticky situations along the way.

When 2013 rolled around, Hugh made the difficult decision to step down from the Warramunda committee and become a unit resident.

‘‘I’ve missed it a lot, it’s been tough to get used to,’’ he said.

‘‘I have really enjoyed being on the committee and watching this place grow throughout the years.’’

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