Australia Central Coast man helping others as part of recovery from addiction recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

00:26  14 june  2021
00:26  14 june  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Richard 'Dick' Love's tenacity in helping others bloomed from a dark point in his life, after he arrived to Australia from Northern Ireland.

"I came here when I was 20, I was a good rugby player at Randwick and within 18 months I was living in the gutter," Mr Love said.

"I couldn't stop drinking."

Mr Love, who lives at Davistown on the New South Wales Central Coast, received help and has paid it forward countless times since.

"I've had a very fulfilling life since then in serving others, in helping others, and it's been my privilege to do that," Mr Love said.

"I believe I've been given a spiritual gift.

"The spiritual gift was to remove the compulsion to drink from me and then part of the ongoing recovery is to continue to help others."

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The 81-year-old has received an OAM for his service to the community through a range of roles, and is one of a handful of people on the Central Coast recognised in the Queen's Birthday 2021 Honours List.

"I'm very honoured and feel incredibly rewarded," Mr Love said.

Helping a diverse range of causes

Mr Love has been volunteering in rehabilitation for decades.

He remains an active member of self-help groups dealing with addiction, and is a remedial reading teacher to young Indigenous men at the Glen Drug Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre at Chittaway Point.

Mr Love has visited most jails in NSW to reach out to prisoners battling addictions.

His commitment to other causes has also been praised.

Lawn bowling has become a passion of Mr Love's where he has run successful tournaments, coached the next generation and worked to debunk the myth that it is soley a sport for old people.

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Among other roles, Mr Love has been a financial counsellor at Samaritans Emergency Relief Centre at Wyoming, teacher aide to HSC students at Green Point Christian College, and singer to the elderly at HammondCare at Woy Woy.

Other Central Coast residents to make the Honours List include two doctors.

Dr Leon Clark has received an AM for significant service to medical administration and healthcare delivery, while Dr Scott Fortey has received an OAM for service to medicine as an anaesthetist.

Brian Gee has made the list for his service to surf lifesaving and junior rugby league, Robinson Wilson for his service to veterans, and Robert Howe and Peter Rubin for their service to the community.

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usr: 21
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