Standing ovation for community spirit

AWARD WINNERS: Geoff Lowe of Millicent Toyota kneeling with his Hall of Fame shield surrounded by winners of other sections in the MBCA awards and MBCA President, Lee Morgan on far right. From left, Frazer Johnston (McCourt’s Garden Centre), Sukhchain and Karmal Dhaliwal (New Heaven Indian Restaurant), Christine Agnew (McCourt’s Garden Centre), Jorja Wilkinson and Sally Sapiatzer (Fosters Foodland), Melissa Armfield (Shearer’s Cook Café), Maureen Brennan (Sassi), Sean and Sarah McGrath and Jaimie Coleman (Millicent Veterinary Clinic). Photo: Dani Bell Photography

A STANDING ovation paid tribute to a Millicent business owner during the town’s business awards held recently.

At the Millicent Business Community Association (MBCA) annual awards held in the Millicent Civic and Arts Centre, the crowd of about 150 fellow business people and their employees stood to acknowledge Sukhchain Dhaliwal, of New Heaven Indian Restaurant and Millicent IGA supermarket, when he was awarded the Community Spirit Award.

Presented by Brian Foster in memory of his father, the late Bob Foster, who was well known as a significant and long running contributor to Millicent and its surrounding area, the award recognises a business owner who goes above and beyond their business to help their community.

The crowd was told that Mr Dhaliwal provides 60 free meals to people in need every Monday night.

On stage during the presentation, Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll said Mr Dhaliwal was humble by nature.

“The strength of our community is in our diversity and we are extremely proud of Sukie,” he said.

“You are treasured and this community loves you dearly.”

Mr Dhaliwal, who began his restaurant in Millicent in 2014, thanked his family, friends, staff and the community.

“I feel good in the heart when my children tell me that their friends talk proudly about me, their dad, at school,” he said.

“I like to help others who are less fortunate.”

Winners of other sections on the night were as follows:

Construction, Trades and Manufacturing: Trusted Automotive.

Services: Millicent Veterinary Clinic

Retail: Foster’s Foodland

Retail with less than five employees: Sassi Giftware

Agriculture, Horticulture, Viticulture: McCourt’s Garden Centre

Hospitality and Tourism: New Heaven Indian Restaurant

Hospitality and Tourism, cafes: The Shearer’s Cook Cafe

Hospitality and Tourism, cafes, merit award: Two Spoons Coffee House

Employee of the Year: Jaimie Coleman of Millicent Veterinary Clinic

Young Employee of the Year: Frazer Johnston of McCourt’s Garden Centre

Hall of Fame inductee: Millicent Toyota