“We are incredibly privileged to have an Australian Olympian of our own who grew up here in Mulwala and comes from a local family,” Mulwala Progress Association President Robert Purtle OAM and Master of Ceremonies told the 120-strong crowd.
The December 23 turned 21-year-old son of Dionne and Arthur Willett of ‘Shelford’ 13kms from Mulwala is currently ranked third in the world for Men’s Double Trap and is a 2016 Sport Australia Hall of Fame recipient which is only given to five young sportspeople in Australia across all sports.
Applause was instant for James and the MC called, and received, another round when announcing: “James currently holds the Olympic record for Men’s Double Trap with an amazing score of 140/150”.
Mr Purtle presented James with a certificate and advised Mulwala Progress Association will erect a sign at the entrance of Mulwala stating ‘Mulwala, home of Olympic Shooter James Willett’ this year.
The Mulwala Water Ski Club Ski Team was formally recognised for its wonderful runner-up position in the world show skiing titles in Wisconsin, USA, last September.
Australia’s team of 35 skiers included 27 Yarrawonga-Mulwala locals, all of whom have grown up in the Mulwala Water Ski Club’s Show Teams.
“They competed with skill and grace, and earned themselves second place,” Mr Purtle, a foundation member, inaugural treasurer and president for nearly 10 years in some 40 years association with Mulwala Water Ski Club said.
“We congratulate these people on their hard work and efforts to represent Mulwala and Australia so proudly.”
The MC acknowledged the national anthem singing by John Duncan the flag raising by RSL’s Kerry Prendergast, Greg Hough and Mulwala Water Ski Club for the PA system and sound, Mulwala Football Netball Club for cooking of the sausages, refreshment organisation by Jan Doyle and the financial contribution of Federation Council towards the day.
An apology was received from Mulwala’s representative on Federation Council’s Local Representative Committee, Daryl Davey.
Mr Davey was attending council’s Australia Day celebration in Urana and wished everyone a happy Australia Day. Mr Purtle welcomed all at the ceremony, with a special welcome to special emergency services personnel in the police and fire fields. He concluded: “Enjoy this great holiday.”