Anthony Watters was named the Citizen of the Year for Bowen at the Australia Day awards ceremony on January 26, 2020.
Anthony Watters was named the Citizen of the Year for Bowen at the Australia Day awards ceremony on January 26, 2020.

‘Quiet achiever’: Meet Bowen’s Citizen of the Year

“QUIET ACHIEVER” Anthony Watters has taken home the 2020 Bowen Citizen of the Year award for his work with Blue Care, as he has worked for more than a decade to help elderly residents to remain living in their own homes.

The Bowen resident was genuinely did not expect to win, saying he didn’t ask to be nominated and initially thought it was just a nice gesture.

“I got the email and I thought, ‘oh, that’s lovely, someone’s rung up and nominated me, that’s great,’” he said.

Mr Watters became a permanent employee of Blue Care in 2003 and does everything from changing light bulbs and fixing taps to putting grab rails in and repairing steps.

Watters says he enjoys the handyman work and that every day he’s meeting different people and doing something different, saying the bigger jobs give him a sense of achievement.

“I get satisfaction from helping them out. I went from only using a drill 20 years ago to building something now that’s not too bad,” he said.

“Clients become friends, you’ll see them ten to twenty times a year if they need assistance.

“You’ll spend time with them, have a cup of tea and do the job, and they just appreciate the time. I’m probably just a good listener.

“I guess I keep my job, they can’t sack me this week.”

Mother-in-law, Merle Jochheim said she was not often lost for words but nearly passed out when she heard his name at the ceremony.

“I’m so proud of him. He doesn’t think that what he does is worth getting an award for, he’s just a quiet achiever,” she said.

“He has that personality, they all just love him. They were so excited for him, five elderly ladies opened a bottle of wine and toasted him.”

“The elderly at Bowen and Proserpine they absolutely worship him,”

Originally coming to Bowen in 1985 when his stepfather opened the Ten Pin Bowling centre, Mr Watters moved to Brisbane for 10 years before settling in Bowen in 1996, marrying and welcoming a daughter with wife Joanne Watters.

“If it wasn’t for the Jochheims I don’t know where I’d be. I reckon a lot of people would agree with me, Merle should have been Citizen of the Year ten times in a row,” he said.

Mr Watters also enjoys time in the great outdoors, saying he was also an avid kayaker and fisherman. Though he wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony, Watters was glad his mother-in-law Jochheim attended and apologised to Mayor Andrew Willcox saying he went kayaking and got stuck by the tides.

“I was in the triathlon club for 15 years and did some Adventure Races. Now I just enjoying kayaking and fishing, I’m a bit of a hermit,” he said.

Mr Watters suspects he knows who it was who nominated him and says a big thank you.

Though he wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony, Mr Watters was glad his mother-in-law Jochheim attended and apologised to Mayor Andrew Willcox saying he went kayaking and got stuck by the tides.

“I got back from paddling and she was out the front. I was soaked because I’d slept in the rain. She was a bit nervy, because she was excited to give me the award,” he said.

“I didn’t think I’d win otherwise I would have definitely went. I want to apologise to Andrew, I didn’t do it on purpose.”


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