Logan’s heroes lauded

Peter Harrison-Kyte accepts his award from Mayor Darren Power

Peter Harrison-Kyte is described by his peers as someone for whom service to others is simply second nature.

Mr Harrison-Kyte is the president of Club Beenleigh and the winner of City of Logan’s 2021 Frank Lenz Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year.

He received the accolade at the City of Logan Volunteer Awards Breakfast at the Logan Entertainment Centre this morning.

Mr Harrison-Kyte, 73, spends about 40 hours a week volunteering in the Beenleigh community.

Over the years, he has contributed tirelessly to organisations including the Beenleigh RSL – where he spent 10 years as President – Beenleigh Cricket Club, Dauth Park Tennis Club, Beenleigh Sports & Community Club and Beenleigh Buffaloes AFC.

Service to others was also a focus of Mr Harrison-Kyte’s working life.

He was a decorated Queensland police officer, and later, a leading seaman in the Royal Australian Navy.

Among his proudest of achievements was creating the Beenleigh Veterans & Ex-Services Club to assist servicemen and women.

A special focus of the organisation is aiding those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Club Beenleigh vice president Mark Ellis painted a telling picture of his close friend and colleague in his award nomination.

“It is almost impossible to accurately measure the impact Pete has had on the community – mainly because he does so much work behind the scenes and with very little fanfare,” Mr Ellis wrote.

“The results of his efforts span far and wide – well past the veterans, retired police, AFL, cricket and tennis clubs he supports so strongly.

“(Peter) has dedicated his entire life to the community.”

The Muslim Charitable Foundation (MCF) in Woodridge was also lauded at today’s breakfast event, receiving the Davida Steele Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Organisation.

MCF funds local projects that include supplying food for the homeless and promoting and providing activities for disengaged youth.

It has provided food and hampers to organisations including the Red Cross and the Romero Centre, as well as to domestic violence victims and those recently released from prison.

It also commits to paying the rent and utility bills, medical bills and water bills for many refugees or students who have lost their income.

Melanie McKenzie, of New Beith, was awarded the Spirit of Logan award for her efforts with her self-founded charity, Harrison’s Little Wings.

Ms McKenzie is dedicated to supporting those who have suffered the loss of a child, stillbirth or pregnancy loss, after the tragic death of her own son.

The charity faced several practical challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but Melanie’s determination to continue meant the charity is now assisting even more women and their families.

City of Logan Mayor Darren Power said this year’s volunteering award winners were an inspiration for the entire community.

“It is a privilege and an honour to have been able to thank our hard-working volunteers for their tireless efforts,” Cr Power said.

“Our volunteers go above and beyond for our communities each and every day and without them, so many needs would go unmet.

“Yet again this year, we owe our volunteers an immense debt of gratitude.

“I congratulate all of our award winners, and our nominees, on a job very well done.”

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