INFLUENTIAL Portarlington figures Geoff Henderson and Ron Stockdale were acknowledged for their outstanding work by the Portarlington Business Development Association (PBDA).
The December meeting, which was held over two nights around Christmas to abide by COVID-19 restrictions, saw the duo’s power of work recognised as Henderson received the community award while Stockdale picked up the business award.
Henderson was honoured for an array of contributions he has made to the Portarlington community over more than a decade.
Henderson has given 10 years of support to the Portarlington Parks Hall, a committee member for the $250,000 Hall redevelopment.
Treasurer and committee member at Indented Head Boat Club, auditor of various Bellarine sporting clubs, just to name a few of a long list of achievements.
But the most satisfying of his time was the 11 years of work in delivering the Portarlington Safe Harbour and Bellarine ferry.
“It took about 11 years to achieve that … what it has done has brought a lot of people from Melbourne, which wouldn’t have happened before for the town,” Henderson said.
“Now they have got a way to access it and it’s great for businesses and the wineries around the town.” Henderson said the award left him speechless.
“I was honoured, I didn’t expect it … I was supposed to make a speech, but all I could say was thank you,” he laughed.
Meanwhile, Stockdale received the business award for his huge influence as manager of the Portarlington Golf Club.
Stockdale moved to Portarlington prior to 2010, a year the club suffered a financial loss, he has delivered profits every year since.
Along with combining the men’s and women’s golf committees, delivering a new course master plan and claiming the Community Clubs Victoria Golf Club of the Year award in 2014.
His proudest achievement is the redevelopment of the facilities, in particular the modernised clubrooms.
“The new rooms are set up for conferencing, functions, weddings and have a 180-seat capacity,” Stockdale said.
“That was something we all worked really hard towards.”
Stockdale, who has managed various clubs for 30 years, said it was a great surprise to receive the award and he was proud of the impact the club has had on the community.
“It was a complete surprise, I had no idea that was happening,” he said.
“It’s not just about running a club down there, it’s also about employing local people … we were able to provide jobs and opportunities for people. It’s been a pretty good time for me and the club.”
PBDA president John Rae OAM praised both men for their great work.
“Geoff is a terrific quiet achiever … he was instrumental in gaining the ferry and the Safe Harbour. I have worked with him on those projects and have no doubt his skills played a vital part in gaining funding for the projects which have changed Portarlington greatly,” Rae said.
“Ron did an amazing amount over his 10 years … the Portarlington Golf Club is one of the jewels on the Bellarine and due to Ron’s leadership that jewel is now larger and shines more brightly.”