Barraba's citizen of the year honoured after his passing

27th Januay 2016

IT WAS an emotionally-charged Australia Day ceremony in Barraba yesterday as the widow of a man who gave so much to his community accepted the Citizen of the Year Award on his behalf.

Nick Birt was credited with helping transform the Barraba RSL Memorial Hall through a series of refurbishment works and in just 12 months clocked up more than 200 hours of unpaid work.

Sadly he passed away just before Christmas after losing a long battle with a debilitating illness.

His wife Helen was at yesterday's ceremony but was unaware her husband had been honoured with the award until his name was called and she was invited onto the stage to accept it on his behalf.

The Birts moved to Barraba in 2004 after Mr. Birt finished 20 years in the Australian Army.

They quickly threw themselves into their new community. Mr. Birt volunteering with the Rural Fire Service and Barraba RSL Sub-Branch.

Through his work with the Sub-Branch, both as past president and treasurer, he became the custodian of the RSL Memorial Hall about seven years ago and worked tirelessly to update it, even securing grant funding through the Council to complete the works.