Community stalwarts honoured for service

Laurie Porter at her beloved St James church in Minto.
Laurie Porter at her beloved St James church in Minto.

Two of Campbelltown’s most commnuity-focused residents were honoured for years of service this week.

Minto’s Laurie Porter and Ingleburn’s Keith Kent were recognised with NSW Government Community Service Awards on Monday.

Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong presented them with their certificates.

Mrs Porter said she was “still getting over the shock” of receiving the award.

“I burst into tears when I found out about it,” she said.

“It’s such a lovely thing. I was thrilled to get the award.”

Mrs Porter received her award for her tireless dedication to preserving and promoting Minto’s heritage.

She has been one of the fiercest campaigners for the protection of Minto’s historic St James church, which was in danger of being demolished.

“It’s so important to keep these things around, because otherwise we’ll forget what came before us,” she said.

“If the church was demolished, there’d be no evidence of Anglicanism’s long history in the area.”

Mrs Porter is passionate about Minto and has lived in the suburb for 36 years. Her husband’s family can trace its Minto heritage back to the 1890s.

Mrs Porter has worked on other heritage projects over the years, including a book detailing the history of Minto Public School and the town itself.

She also fought for the preservation of the historic Redfern’s Cottage and created the pamphlet: ‘Historic Minto – Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of Dr William Redfern’s Land Grant in Minto’.

Laurie Porter and Anoulack Chanthivong

Laurie Porter and Anoulack Chanthivong

Mr Chanthivong praised Mrs Porter’s dedication.

“Through Laurie’s efforts, community awareness and interest in heritage issues has grown,” he said.

“Laurie has always demonstrated a passion and quiet determination to preserve Minto’s heritage against the rising tide of development.

“I applaud Laurie for her unwavering commitment and tenacity to protecting our local area’s heritage and acknowledge Laurie’s years of service to our local community.”

Keith Kent

Keith Kent

Mr Chanthivong also lauded Mr Kent’s half-century of work with the Lions Club – first of Liverpool and then Ingleburn.

“Keith’s unremitting drive and passion for helping others is to be commended,” he said.

“Keith’s contributions to our community are many and have been inspired by the Lions’ motto ‘We Serve’.

“An honourable man, Keith once said there can be no better thing than a person giving their talent, time and energy for the community and I would have to agree.”

Mr Kent has worked with the Lions Club of Ingleburn since 1976 and was in 2008 awarded the Ambassador of Goodwill for his service.

He was also awarded the Freedom of the City Key on the 50th anniversary of the Lions.