Premier’s gong for years of hard work

WIELDING scalding hot metal, helping build fences with antique agricultural wheels and setting up an extensive blacksmith tool display, Sarah Tiller’s volunteer efforts in preserving Balaklava’s agricultural history will be formally acknowledged this evening, (May 19).

Sarah (pictured) is one of three recipients of the Premier’s Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Service which will be presented at Wakefield Regional Council’s event this evening for National Volunteer Week.

“It’s nice to be acknowledged,” Sarah said. “It was very surprising, I usually like to keep to the background a bit.”

Ever humble, Sarah became involved with the Urlwin Park Agricultural Museum when it split from the National Trust, which stoked her love of old tractors and machinery.

Most Saturday mornings, you’ll catch Sarah and her husband David Tiller manning the blacksmith forge in the museum, developing and maintaining the site for tourists and visitors.

Sarah and her husband have undertaken significant work in establishing a wood paneled wall to artfully display the blacksmith tools in the forge, and their live demonstrations are popular with the visitors to the museum.

“The kids like it because it’s red hot and they like seeing you playing, bending and shaping the metal,” Sarah said.

“A lot of the old visitors remember their parents that used to do this work and they like to talk about it and tell us their history.”

Sarah learnt the art in one lesson from Artist Blacksmiths Association South Australia’s Andrew Hood.

Sarah has a long history with volunteering in the Balaklava district since moving back to her husband’s family farm in 1989.

Previously, she has driven council’s community bus and the school bus, alongside devoting time to helping children read at Horizon Christian School when her children began attending.

Her favourite part of volunteering is meeting different people across the district.

“Even though a lot of the people I met were older, it was nice to get to know them,” Sarah said.