Pomona named friendliest town
THE people of Pomona have another reason to smile – their town has been named friendliest in the region.
Pomona has, for the second time, come out a winner in the South-East Queensland Ergon Energy Tidy Towns awards, and Pomona Inc president Stephen Hilditch received the region’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
The Friendliest Town award, also won in 2004, recognises “outstanding commitment to and active promotion of visitor friendliness”.
Judge Lorraine See said she was particularly impressed with the friendly and amicable shop and business owners she met.
She commended “the fabulous activities organised by Pomona Community House including a new gluten-free cooking class and many fun and educational events for senior citizens”.
She said Sunshine Coast Council realised some aged or disabled people had trouble getting to the shops, so set up a Council Cabs service, collecting people from their homes and driving them to and from the shops once a week for $2 each way.
“Another travel initiative is the new FlexiLink trial service which connects Pomona to Cooroy operating six days a week, three times a day.
“A free legal service has been established with four local lawyers providing legal advice and appropriate referrals every Tuesday night.”
The judge said Pomona was a popular visitor destination, with great attractions like the Majestic Theatre and Noosa Museum.
“New streetscaping is almost complete, giving the town a leafy, historic, friendly feel. The parks and gardens are well resourced with facilities including exercise equipment to keep the community fit.”
She also commended the way Pomona’s community and traders support local talent and events such as the King of the Mountain festival.
Pomona has been successful in one or more categories of the Tidy Towns awards every year since 2003 when Pomona Progress Art Tourism Inc began nominating.
The volunteer community group owns and operates the Majestic Theatre, the Old Railway Station Art Gallery and the Pomona Markets as well as representing the town’s interests to Council and tourism organisations.
The Outstanding Achievement award to president Stephen Hilditch recognises the outstanding contribution by an individual or group to the community.
“Stephen is passionate about Pomona and works extremely hard to build a strong community with a happy, healthy, vibrant outlook,” the citation said.
“He is president of Pomona Inc, but it is his involvement with and support of a wide range of community activities that makes him worthy of this award. Whether it’s schools, sporting clubs, service clubs and local projects, Stephen’s help, advice and input is canvassed.
“He sits on several boards and committees and as a very visible Justice of the Peace, does a significant amount of local justice work, as well as after hours documentation and warrants for the local police.
“Part of the leadership team for the Anglican Parish of Cooroora, he holds the portfolio of Maintenance and Property of four churches in the parish.
“He is basically a spokesperson for the traders and community who liaises with council and local media. In his spare time he is the principal and partner in Pomona Real Estate six days a week.”