Two Macedon Ranges residents were honoured this Queen’s Birthday for their service to veterans and their families.
Not only do these locals share a first name –and now the same accolade, but they have also made significant contributions in similar fields.
Kyneton’s Francis John Bell (pictured) and Woodend’s Dr Francis Anthony Donovan were each awarded with a Medal of the Order of Australia earlier this week.
Both men have volunteered at the Returned and Services League of Australia, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and to those who served for the country from the Macedon Ranges area.
Mr Bell has been volunteering for the RSL for 18 years.
Upon retiring from his rail career in 1989, Mr Bell took up full time work to support those who have served or are serving in the defence forces.
“It was a theme in those days. You didn’t stop work when you retired – you took up voluntary work,” he said.
Mr Bell also contributed to the rebuilding and maintenance of the Mount Macedon Memorial Cross – Victoria’s second largest World War One memorial.
In recent years Dr Donovan has co-ordinated the Mount Macedon Anzac Dawn Service at the cross.
Dr Donovan also negotiated to establish the national Vietnam Veteran’s Counselling Service, and then volunteered as a counselling social worker for veterans and their families.
He was overseas and unable to be contacted by Star Weekly.