King’s medal for Derwent Valley Railway stalwart

A MAN with strong Derwent Valley connections has been named in this year’s King’s Birthday honours list. Tony Coen, of Austins Ferry, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to railway preservation, and to pipe band music, both of which have involved New Norfolk.

A former driver and fireman with the Tasmanian Government Railways, he was a founding member of the Derwent Valley Railway Preservation Society in 1992. He is a former general manager of the Derwent Valley Railway and remains a volunteer there.

Tony Coen leading the Tasmania Police Pipe Band in the 2022 New Norfolk Christmas Parade.

Mr Coen has been a member of the Tasmania Police Pipe Band since 2009 and served as its drum major since 2014. In that role he has taken part in several New Norfolk Christmas Parades.

Legislative Council president Craig Farrell MLC said Mr Coen was a thoroughly deserving recipient of the OAM in this year’s honours list.

“Having worked closely with Tony for many years during the successful period of the Derwent Valley Railway’s operations, it was apparent that without him, it wouldn’t have happened,” Mr Farrell said.

“His knowledge, practical skills, and passion were the key driving forces behind the DVR’s past success. He encouraged others and was generous in teaching others the many skills of railway operations.”

Mr Farrell said Mr Coen’s honesty and friendship had ensured that the membership was united and plentiful. “His long and dedicated service to the pipe band community was a similar story. Tony has always given, and then given a bit more. “I know that all who have been involved with Tony will agree that he is a perfect example of what these awards should be about.”

Tony Coen, front and centre, leading the massed pipe bands onto the Royal Mile at the 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at www.gg.gov.au.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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