Gary wants to reign again


Singleton Citizen of the Year Gary Holland would like more time to enjoy one of the town’s top honours.

He anticipated a year of community involvement, particularly given the increase in the number of community events coinciding with Singleton’s 200-year commemorations.

However, his 12-month stint has been significantly cut short because of Covid.

“Why should Covid have everything, I think I should have another year, why not?” he questioned The Hunter River Times.

“The councillors are getting another year, I think I should too,” he said with a grin.

He also believed some of the 200-year events cancelled because of Covid should get put back on the calendar of events as soon as we have the all clear, be it later this year or next.

“There has been so much work and effort put into organising these events and they just couldn’t go ahead. All of the Shire was excited and looking forward to the unfolding of events during the year,” he said.

“Would it really matter if these events happen this year or next? When Covid is beaten we will all need an uplift and what better way than to come together to have some fun and enjoy ourselves.

“This is a way for Council to show initiative and lead the Shire into better times.

“Let’s start with another Soiree , maybe at the Showground so a lot more folk can come along. Then roll on with the other events. Whether it is celebrating 200 or 201 years, does it really matter?

Speaking outside his beloved Dolly’s NFP Charity Shop, Gary is pleased to have the doors of the George Street business open again and so is the community.

All funds raised from the shop’s proceeds go to support local youth initiatives.

So far Dolly’s has donated funds to Singleton Town Band, the Youth Venue, the PCYC, Singleton Swimming Club and the Wednesday kids’ playgroup among others.

Gary says most of his customers are travellers, stopping in town to enjoy a bite to eat and a wander.

The shop runs on a shoestring budget, offering quality second-hand clothes, shoes, jewellery, blankets and household items at ‘silly’ prices.  

While he may not get to enjoy an extended period with the title received on Australia Day, there is one thing that people can do to put that smile back on this amazing character’s face and that’s to offer to volunteer at Dolly’s.

“I have eight volunteers but I need more, it’s a lot of fun and you get to speak to all sorts of people,” he said.

Anyone wanting to join the Dolly Charity Shop team can just pop in to the store and offer to help in any way that suits you..

*This story was published on Friday, July 3 2020.