ON the night Bathurst started to flood in August 1986, Judy Rutherford was at a meeting that got the ball rolling on an entertainment centre for Bathurst.
More than 30 years later, Mrs Rutherford has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her dedication and contributions to Bathurst.
The award came as a complete surprise and she has no idea who put her name forward.
"It was a really, really huge surprise because I haven't done much in recent years. I couldn't believe it," she said.
Read about Bathurst's other 2019 OAM recipients:
Mrs Rutherford has had a string of bad luck in recent months, but becoming an OAM may just be a sign that things are turning around.
She has lived in Bathurst for 60 years, most of that on a property in Fitzgerald's Valley that she shared with her husband.
They raised four sons and Mrs Rutherford said being part of their schools' Parents and Friends associations was the starting point for her joining local committees.
The list of groups she has been involved with isn't short and has included being a founding, life and committee member of the Bathurst Arts Council, member of the National Trust, and board member of the Mitchell Conservatorium.
Mrs Ruthford also helped establish the conservatorium and, as earlier mentioned, was instrumental in the development of Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC).
In the 1960s and 70s, there wasn't much in the way of entertainment venues in Bathurst, meaning people often travelled to Orange when they wanted to see a show.
"There was absolutely nowhere, no picture theatres in Bathurst during that time, just the drive-in. We didn't have a theatre at all," she said.
But after some serious work, BMEC officially opened in 1999 and filled a very big void. It only got better as the years went on.
"We're so lucky we've got BMEC, but we've also got Stephen Champion running it and that's why it is successful," Mrs Rutherford said.
Establishing facilities aside, Mrs Rutherford has also been involved in the Bathurst District Historical Society, 2MCE, Miss Traill's House and is currently doing courses with U3A.
She has loved serving her community and encouraged others to get involved where they can.
"The more you do, they better things can be," she said. "It's good to get involved in your town and you make a lot of friends."