Lifetime Port Stephens resident and community stalwart Eric Holliday has been named as a Freeman of Port Stephens.
The Shoal Bay nonagenarian was presented the highest honour that Port Stephens Council can bestow at tonight’s Council meeting, in recognition of decades of service to the community largely through his work as one of the area’s most recognised vegetable farmers.
Born in Bobs Farm, Mr Holliday began work on the family acreage at the age of seven and was a regular passenger on the punt before the Stockton Bridge was built to take his fresh vegetables to the Newcastle produce markets on Steel Street. He also went on to run the famous rose farm on Marsh Road (now Tailor Made Fish Farm).
Mr Holliday is a prominent member and past National President of the vegetables association, an advocate for the Port Stephens and Veterans Aged Care Committee, a Justice of the Peace, Order of Australia recipient and mentored thousands of students at Tocal Agricultural College during his career.
Mayor of Port Stephens, Bruce MacKenzie, said Mr Holliday was a deserving recipient.
“I’ve known Eric since I was a kid. He’s always been a community-minded person and I can remember he had the biggest market garden in the district and wouldn’t send you home without an armload of fresh vegetables,” he said.
“Even now he prunes the roses at Harbourside Haven and continues to be as happy and jovial as he ever was at the age of 94.
“It gives me a lot of pleasure to see Eric Holliday receive this award and I’m very happy he has been recognised for his significant contribution to Port Stephens over a very long period of time.”