RUGBY league legend George Barker of Narooma has received an OAM for his service to the community of Narooma and to sport.
You can’t get much more local that George whose great grandfather George landed at Moruya in 1938, later moving to Tilba.
He was born in Narooma 84 years ago, as his father, also George, ran several businesses in town and was also known for his generosity.
George Junior also received his OAM for his work with service clubs and he is only surviving charter member of Narooma Rotary since 1958.
He was director of community service at the Rotary Club of Narooma from 1993 to 1995 and 2013 to 2014; director of administration from 2012-2013; vice-president from 1989 to 1990 and 1997 to 1998; president from 1963 to 1964; secretary from 1961 to 1963; and director from 1960 to 1961.
George was also chairman of the Narooma Branch of the Royal Blind Society for five years during the 1950s, and was also involved in the ambulance service back then when it was a community funded service.
His real love in life is however rugby league which he said he first became involved in when his three sons started in the juniors.
He is not impressed with the modern game though saying they have changed the rules too many times, but is proud of the strong rugby league presence in Narooma that remains today.
The Narooma News caught up with George and his good mate Bob Bennett, who also just received an OAM for similar services.
The pair have known each all their lives with George Snr looking after Bob when he was orphan, but more on that in Bob’s own story.
When not involved in sport and service clubs, he was a painting contractor and his business was South Coast Decorating.
George was president of Group 16 Senior Rugby League, South Coast, NSW, for more than 20 years and remains current patron and life member.
He is also current patron and life member of Group 16 Junior Rugby League, South Coast.
He was made a life Member of Narooma Junior Rugby League in 2013.
He has also been patron of South East Group 16 Referees Association for about 15 years.
And he is a group delegate, life member and representative for Country Rugby League for about 15 years.
He was also president of Narooma Surf Life Saving Club for five years and a member in the 1950s.
Previous awards include being named a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary Club of Narooma in 1992 and Sapphire Pin in 2008.