A well-known and hard-working member of the community Bruce McKean was recognised at a ceremony at Chinaman’s Island recently when the Yarrawonga Eastern Foreshore Committee unveiled a plaque in his honour.
Chinaman’s Island is managed by the Yarrawonga Eastern Foreshore Committee (YEFC), a Section 86 Committee of the Moira Shire.
A subcommittee of The YEFC is The Friends of Chinaman’s Island (FOCI) a small group of volunteers who spend a few hours each Friday morning ensuring that the native vegetation is maintained and constantly improved.
A mainstay of both the YEFC and FOCI over more than 25 years has been the redoubtable Bruce McKean.
On November 28 YEFC unveiled a plaque recognizing Bruce’s efforts during that long period.
An admiring crowd of friends and coworkers were present for the occasion.
Two well-known local identities who have worked with Bruce for many years on Chinaman’s Island issues, Cr Peter Mansfield and Mr Wallis Bruce gave short speeches highlighting Bruce’s diligence and perseverance in helping to make Chinaman’s island what it is today.
Bruce then thanked those present for their attendance and also gave some insights in to the way that the founding group headed by Bronwyn Taylor, initially fought for the retention of Chinaman’s Island as public land and then proceeded to work to develop the area in to the magnificent nature reserve that it is today.
As usual Bruce praised the work of many others and was very humble when referring to his own efforts.
There was an unusual, but perhaps fitting, aspect to the ceremony.
During the speeches there were a number of cockatoos screeching in the nearby trees.
It was eventually noticed that the reason for this noise was that a 1.5m long goanna was perched in the tree overlooking the ceremony.
A great example of the native sanctuary that Chinaman’s Island has become due in no small way to Bruce McKean and those he has worked with over the years.