Commendation for community service

Dave Saunders in his ceremonial attire. Photo: Shannon Wood.

Dave Saunders in his ceremonial attire. Photo: Shannon Wood.

Veteran Collie St John Ambulance volunteer Dave Saunders has been honoured for his long-term service to the organisation.

Mr Saunders was made a Commander of the Order of St John at a presentation ceremony at Government House earlier this month. 

Mr Saunders has served for 52 years as a St John volunteer in Collie and was recently recognised for his ongoing efforts in recruiting new volunteers and being involved in the recent renovations and refurbishments of the Collie sub-centre. 

The honour was bestowed upon Mr Saunders by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, who presented the awards on the night. 

“When I went up, everybody clapped, I was overwhelmed,” Mr Saunders said. 

“I was stoked, really surprised. I sort of had it set in my mind that once I was made an officer that would be about as far as I would get.” 

“I am the second person in Collie ever to receive the recognition, the late Mervyn Towler was the only other person, he was my mentor when I started aged 17 in 1965.”

Dedicated volunteer: Dave Saunders was honoured for over 50 years of service to St John Ambulance at a ceremony at Government House. Photo: Shannon Wood.

Dedicated volunteer: Dave Saunders was honoured for over 50 years of service to St John Ambulance at a ceremony at Government House. Photo: Shannon Wood.

Mr Saunders was the only one at the ceremony to be made a Commander of the Order of St John, which was a promotion from his previous status of Officer in the Order of St John.

Being made a Commander of the Order of St John is the second highest honour you can receive in the organisation, the next stage of recognition is to be knighted by St John, something Mr Saunders has his sights set on. 

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