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Bob collects his OAM

Bob Brown at the OAM investiture ceremony last week.

More than three months after being honoured with an Order of Australia Medal, Tocumwal’s Bob Brown has been honoured again.

Mr Brown was named in the Australia Day honours list, and on May 3 attended the official investiture in Melbourne, officiated by Victorian Governor, Linda Dessau.

For the past 26 years, local residents and thousands of tourists have listened to Mr Brown relate the remarkable story of wartime Tocumwal under the banner of the Tocumwal Historic Aerodrome Museum.

He was nominated for the award for his dedication to preserving a history which may have otherwise gone unrecorded.

His dedication has also been honoured at the new Tocumwal Aviation Museum, where a Bob Brown Theatre was named in his honour.

The theatre has a continuous film telling the story of aviation in Tocumwal, dating from the early 1920s to today.

Since moving from Melbourne to Tocumwal in 1989, Mr Brown has spent his retirement documenting the history of the iconic Tocumwal Aerodrome, and the lives of those that served it.

He has since personally interviewed hundreds of veterans, and preserved thousands of documents.

The 92 year-old paper salesman turned amateur historian has been passionate about Australia’s aviation history since high school.

‘‘I’ve had a lifelong interest in aviation,’’ he told the Southern Riverina News in January.

‘‘I think what triggered it was when I was still in high school during the 1940s when a Lancaster (plane) came from Europe during the war to advertise victory bonds.

‘‘They did circuits over the school — as you can imagine that had a huge impact on a young student like myself.’’

After moving to Tocumwal with his wife Gina Brown, Mr Brown soon discovered the history of the humble airstrip neighbouring their property.

After extensive documentation of the former RAAF airbase (then known as McIntyre airfield) Mr Brown established the Tocumwal Historic Aerodrome Museum.

The site, Mr Brown would soon discover, was in fact home to the largest freestanding wooden structure in the southern hemisphere.

First established in 1942 following the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese, the base was a joint effort between Australia and America.

Mr Brown served as president and volunteer of the museum from its establishment in 1995 until just last year when he handed the baton to Matt and Sue Henderson who have since modernised the museum.

Mr Brown was one of two locals to receive an OAM on Australia Day.

The other was Finley’s Marjorie Maxwell, who was recognised for her “service to the community of Finley’’.

She has served on many community committees, chief among them the Finley Regional Care Auxiliary.