FORMER Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh and Dimboola councillor John Kemfert said he was excited when he found out about his Order of Australian Medal.
“I didn’t really expect it at all, so it’s a great honour,” he said.
The 82-year-old retiree spent more than 20 years in local government.
He served as mayor to Yarriambiack Shire Council between 2009 and 2010, and councillor between 2008 and 2012.
Mr Kemfert also served on the Hindmarsh Shire Council between 1997 and 2005, taking up the mayoral role between 2001 and 2002.
He was also a councillor of the former Dimboola Shire Council.
“I’m just really passionate about progress and I love talking to the people of my community,” he said.
“If people come to me with a problem, I’ll always try to fix it.”
Mr Kemfert was born in Lithuania and emigrated to Australia in 1948.
For 30 years Mr Kemfert drove the Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide.
“It was the best job in the world,” he said.
“Now I spend my free time gardening and involved in the Lions Club.”
He said he had only one regret in his life.
“I was the chairman of the Wimmera Mallee Rail Association and we tried to get passenger rail back,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll get trains back sometime very soon; people really want that to happen.”