BEING Australian equates to being “true blue” and generous, according to Capalaba philanthropist Jeffrey Underhill.
Mr Underhill, 86, was recognised in this year’s Australia Day Awards for abiding by those principles all his life.
On Monday, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his generous donations of $3 million to the Capalaba Lions Club and his volunteer work with Meals on Wheels.
In his typical humble style, Mr Underhill passed up attending a medal ceremony to have a barbecue at the beloved Lions Club he helped to rebuild.
His community work had almost gone unnoticed until he was nominated for the Redland City Citizen of the Year award, which he won in 2013.
But the humble octogenarian said his raison d’etre was not about winning accolades.
After handing out $1 million to the Lions Club in 2012 for a new two-storey den, he backed that up with further donations totalling $3 million.
He also helped pay for a day respite and community centre at Degen Road.
“I’d be happy not getting an award,” he said. “All I want to do is to give more donations to suitable charities,” he said.
This year, he said he planned to make donations of up to $250,000 to the Fred Hollows Foundation and to the Flying Doctor Service.
However, in Mr Underhill’s mind, no charity eclipses the dedicated work of the team of volunteers at the Capalaba Lions Club, where he was made a life member in 2008.
Since moving to the Redlands in 2003, Mr Underhill committed himself to helping the community and was a regular driver with Capalaba Meals on Wheels.
He donated two boats for Sailability, a program that gives people with disabilities a chance to get out on the bay.
He also contributed to the Lion’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness Campaign and to Angel Flight, which provides free air travel to patients in need.
of medical treatment at distant hospitals.Mr Underhill has taken a great interest in helping people with visual impairments and has provided portable talking bar code scanners for blind people.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.