NEW Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove will visit the Wimmera on Wednesday.
Sir Peter will spend time with community groups and tour areas affected by January’s bushfires.
He was sworn in as Governor-General on March 28 and is the most recent person to be knighted in Australia after Prime Minister Tony Abbott reinstated knights and dames in Australian honours.
Horsham Mayor David Grimble said the visit would be memorable for the city.
“As part of the Governor-General’s visit he will tour fire-affected areas and meet people who were affected by the fires,” he said.
“I think the opportunity to come to Horsham so early in his term of office is very good.”
After meeting Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove earlier this month, Cr Grimble said anyone who had the chance to meet him on Wednesday would not be disappointed.
“I had the opportunity of meeting the Governor-General a couple of weeks ago because I was part of the official party that met him at Wandong when he met BlazeAid volunteers,” he said.
“He’s down to earth and very much a people’s person.
“I bet the general public will take to both the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove because they’re focused on Australian citizens.”
Sir Peter is a former Australian of the Year. He gained prominence in 1999 when, as General Cosgrove, he led a peacekeeping mission to East Timor.
He became army chief in 2000 and head of the Defence Force in 2002.
Cr Grimble said the timing of the visit, two days before Anzac Day, was perfect.
“To have a visitor of his calibre and his level of office come to Horsham just before Anzac Day will be something a lot of the RSL and people doing Anzac services will appreciate,” he said.
Horsham RSL president John Brondsema said Sir Peter would meet members at Horsham RSL for 45 minutes on Wednesday.
“We are pleased about the whole thing, as you can imagine,” he said.
“To have the Governor-General, who has been in the office only a couple of weeks, come to the RSL is going to be fantastic.”
Mr Brondsema said all Australians could be proud of Sir Peter’s military history in Vietnam and East Timor.
“What the man does is just fantastic,” he said. “It’s a first for us, we as an RSL really appreciate it and we’re walking around with big smiles on our faces at the moment.”
Former Governor-General Quentin Bryce visited the Wimmera after the 2011 floods.