Irymple held its delayed Australia Day celebrations and award presentation at the Irymple Hotel on Sunday, with Barry Bottams and Ethan Fryar taking out the awards.

Barry, 76, was presented with the Irymple Citizen of the Year award by Mayor Jason Modica, while Ethan, 16, won the Irymple Young Citizen of the Year award.

Around 70 people attended the event organised by the Irymple Progress Association and enjoyed each other’s company over music, presentations and lunch.

Progress Association president Dorothy Knight was thrilled with proceedings.

“I just love it. It’s important for the community to come together and be part of one another’s lives. That community spirit hasn’t died,” she said.

“We have been lucky to be able to hold an event like this during COVID, being able to acknowledge those who really give back, it’s fantastic.”

One of those who has given back is Barry Bottams, the well-deserved winner of the Irymple Citizen of the Year.

Mayor Jason Modica had plenty praise for the community stalwart who has been part of the Progress Association as vice president, a volunteer at the library, the National Australia Day Council and has been on the Harness Racing Club committee for 42 years, 19 as president.

“He’s been there for the community in good times and bad times, the droughts and the hailstorms, and he’s always been there for the farmers when they go through their struggles,” Jason Modica said.

“He’s a respected member of Irymple and he’s a tireless worker for his community.”

And while he is much younger, Irymple Young Citizen of the Year Ethan Fryar’s impact on the community could not be ignored.

The Irymple Secondary College student has been a huge positive for many people in and outside of the school.

“He was voted a school captain last year, he’s displayed great leadership qualities and has been a peer mentor for Year 6s and 7s at school. He always models impeccable behaviour and he even helped to support the homeless in Mildura through a school leadership program, collecting and donating for those in need,” Jason Modica said.

“He has made a significant contribution to the community and Mildura as a whole.”